Why does Russia require international companies to keep user data on servers within the country?

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    Generally, on this site, we can address questions about what the law says, but questions about why it says it are off topic. Sometimes questions like that are a good fit at politics.stackexchange.com, but be sure to read their topic guidelines before posting. Nov 14, 2016 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


Simply because it makes it an easy matter for the Russian government to gain access to the data on those servers in the event it chooses to. I don't think Vladimir Putin would hesitate for one second about using force to seize them if he were to get it in his head to, which could never happen if the computers were outside the country. If the servers were located outside of Russia then Russia would have to rely on the willing cooperation of both foreign companies and governments to obtain any information residing on the servers, which I think would be pretty much a non-starter.

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    My biases say your answer is correct, but it is worded in a very political way which ignores other possibilities and vilifies Russia. Other countries justify similar (but usually not as draconian) laws under the guise of consumer protection (ie preventing data falling into hands of big-bad other country spying - particularly taking into account the US Patriot Act). It could also be used as a way to increase jobs in Russia buy forcing big providers to buy up and use local cloud services, while at the same time reducing the size of expensive Internet connections.
    – davidgo
    Nov 14, 2016 at 3:24
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    You're correct in all that you say, but the OP asked specifically about Russia, not countries in general. As for "villifying" Russia, it would be naive to assume their intentions were so cavalier toward job creation and ignore the elephant in the room, which would be the government's desire to control and easily access data. I could attribute less evil intent to their actions, but that would be naive in the face of how they've acted (DNC hack, etc.) when it comes to data. Other countries do the same, but the OP asked about Russia in particular. Nov 14, 2016 at 12:39

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