LinkedIn has been blocked by the Russian authorities, it has become the first major social networking website to be blocked.

Roskomnadzor, the country’s communications regulator, ordered internet service providers to block access on Thursday and members quickly reported they could not log on.

The move follows a court ruling that LinkedIn had violated a law requiring websites that store the personal data of Russian citizens to do so on servers that are physically in Russia.

Spokesman James Upsher told Euronews this denies access to its millions of members in Russia and to companies using the service to grow their businesses. He said they want to discuss the data localisation request with the regulator.

Roskomnadzor said it expected to be able to meet LinkedIn representatives within the next two weeks, but had first to get approval for that meeting from the foreign ministry and the security services because LinkedIn is a foreign company.

Last week the regulator tweeted the results of a poll it said it carried out which found 37 percent of respondents used LinkedIn, 40 percent said they did not and would never use it, 12 percent had used it but were no longer members and 11 percent said they had not used it so far, but were planning to.

Other major social network providers such as Facebook and Twitter have not complied with the law, which was passed two years ago.

They, along with Google, are waiting to see if they too will be blocked.

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