Google’s Private Emails Tell a Chilling Story

Google's Private Emails Tell a Chilling Story

( – Google is telling partners in Russia to censor their translations and stop using the term “war.” An internal email obtained by The Intercept stated translations and other items originating from the tech giant for viewing inside Russia must comply with the new guidelines and use “euphemistic terms” instead.

Google spokesperson Alex Krasov told The Intercept that the policy is in response to harsh new draconian laws in Russia targeting those opposed to President Vladimir Putin and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The government essentially said anyone with anything negative to say about the war is guilty of spreading false information — a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Google apparently found that there was enough of a risk to its partners and employees from the law to justify a swift response and policy shift.

A translator who spoke to The Intercept said the rule applies to all Google products translated to Russian, including Maps, Gmail, Adwords, and all policy and communications with Russian users. Google’s search engine and YouTube are not affected.

The new law is no joke. An ex-official in the Russian interior ministry recently found himself in trouble for expressing his opinion on a cell phone. Sergei Klokov, 37, disappeared on his way home from work and now faces five to 15 years in jail for his crime.

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