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Tech Companies Face Pressure Over Russia-Ukraine War

Pressure mounted on U.S. tech companies Friday for how they manage their products over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said he sent Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook a letter asking the company to stop supplying Apple products and services to Russia, including halting access to the App Store. Apple declined to comment.

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D., Va.) on Friday urged several tech companies to ensure that their platforms aren’t misused by Russia and Russia-linked entities. The companies contacted by the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee include Google parent Alphabet, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., Twitter Inc., Reddit Inc., as well as messaging platform Telegram and social-media site TikTok, Mr. Warner’s office said.

Russia on Friday said it was restricting access to Facebook for “violating basic rights and freedoms” of Russian citizens after the U.S. social-media platform on Thursday allegedly moved to block the pages of four Russian media outlets, including the Defense Ministry’s TV channel and state news agency RIA. Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Meta, confirmed that Russian authorities had ordered the company to stop fact-checking and flagging content posted on Facebook by the four media organizations in question.

Google on Friday said, “Our incident response team is actively monitoring the war in Ukraine” and that it was working to provide safety and security to users and customers. “We have automatically increased account security protections for people in the region and will continue to do so as cyber threats evolve,” the company said.

The Ukrainian government on Thursday asked people to demand that Russia’s Twitter account be taken down.

Twitter declined to comment on the tweet but said its top priority is to keep people safe.

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