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(Reuters)

Report: Google to Close Engineering Office in Russia

Technology Reuters

Google Inc (GOOGL) has plans to shut down its engineering office in Russia amid a crackdown on internet freedoms and a law regarding data-handling practices, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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The Journal said that the internet search engine company might retain some employees to assist in sales, business partnerships, user support, marketing and communications.

In July, Russia's parliament passed a law to force Internet sites that store the personal data of Russian citizens to do so inside the country, a move the Kremlin says is for data protection but which critics see as an attack on social networks.

The law was passed soon after new rules were established requiring blogs attracting more than 3,000 daily visits to register with a communications watchdog and a regulation allowing websites to be shut without a court order.

Google could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting By Krishna Chaithanya; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)