If you intend to make connections in Russia using LinkedIn, this is about to get a lot harder. On Friday, New York Times reported that Russia demands to remove the professional networking app from both the Apple Store and Google Play Store, and apparently this demand has been met. Russian smartphone cannot download the LinkedIn app for either Android or Apple.
Few weeks ago the LinkedIn website was blocked in Russia because officials penalized the site for failing to store data on citizens within the nation’s borders. After this happened, both the Android and iOS versions of the app stopped working properly.
Rebecca MacKinnon, who leads a project on open internet tracking at New America, told the Times that “Apps are the new choke point of free expression”. Apple admitted that it was asked to remove the LinkedIn app in Russia a month ago, and Google noted that it abides by local laws in countries of operation.
LinkedIn has expressed malcontent over the latest move in Russia, “It denies access to our members in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses,” said Nicole Leverich, a company spokeswoman.
This is not the first time an app or site has been blocked in Russia and other countries, earlier on China and Turkey decided to disallow various online services. But this case is different in its involvement of Apple and Google. From the looks, it seems both tech giants can do little in the face of such stringent censorship.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 14, 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 2015, most of the site’s revenue came from selling access to information about its users to recruiters and sales professionals.
The company was founded by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and Socialnet.com (Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Stephen Beitzel, David Eves, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante).