At the request of the European Union and Ukraine, US companies have implemented various means and measures to help the country and sanction Russia.
The tech community also has its place in the war between Ukraine and Russia. Although social networks have taken several measures against Russian media, they have gone further after a decision by the European Union (EU). “We will ban the Kremlin media machine in the EU. The state media Russia Today and Sputnik, and their affiliates, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war. We are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe”said Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, the Twitter February 27.
From this statement, TikTok, Goal and Youtube announced the blocking of Russia Today and Sputnik accounts on their social networks in Europe. Other tech players have also chosen to comply with the EU ruling. It is the case of Microsoft that it announced that content from the two outlets will no longer be displayed in its personalized Microsoft Start news feed or that its ads are now banned from its advertising network.
Limits to Russia’s access to platforms and technologies
In addition to the EU’s desire to isolate Russia from the online world, it also wants to cut off its access to technology. “We will limit Russia’s access to crucial technologies it needs to build a prosperous future, such as semiconductors or advanced technologies.”said Ursula Von der Leyen during a Press conference. A sanction applied in collaboration with other countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom or Australia.
As part of this cooperation, the United States has also indicated the implementation of various export controls to restrict Russia’s access to the technologies needed to power its economy and military. “These controls primarily target Russia’s defense, aerospace and naval sectors and will cut off Russia’s access to vital technological inputs, stunt key sectors of its industrial base and undermine its strategic ambitions to exert influence on the world stage.”He said US Department of Commerce
Ways to help Ukraine
The tech players are not only taking steps to sanction Russia, they are also implementing ways to help Ukraine. Starlink terminals, Elon Musk’s satellite internet service, arrived in the country on February 28, according to Mikhail Fedorov, First Deputy Minister. He had made the request directly to the businessman on Twitter two days earlier, who had then replied that the terminals were on the way. By providing Internet access around the world, these satellites could help Ukraine, which has suffered Internet outages since the Russian invasion. It remains to be seen how the system can be made accessible to users.
The Deputy Prime Minister also addressed Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. On February 25, he sent him a letter asking him to stop selling his products and services in Russia, but also to block access to the App Store, his application store. Please note that there is no physical store of the company in Russia, but it is possible to purchase its products through an online store. Apple, however, has not announced any action. Tim Cook has only published one cheep in which it is said “deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine”, indicates that the company will support the local humanitarian efforts and calls for peace.
The Russian tech sector is also trying to help Ukraine. In fact, thousands of employees in this field have signed a petition asking his government to stop its military operations in the country. “We, the employees of Russian IT, are categorically against the military operations on the territory of Ukraine launched by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”, is stated in the petition. Created by Natalya Lukyanchikova, who works for a large Russian company, it has been signed by nearly 30,000 people, including employees of the cybersecurity company Kaspersky and the Russian social network VK.
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