The Vedomosti newspaper reported that Russia is investigating Netflix (NFLX.O)after its public commissioner for the protection of families accused the broadcasting company of violating Russian law on “gay propaganda”.
Commissioner Olga Baranets complained to the Interior Ministry that Netflix infringed a 2013 law that prevents the dissemination of “propaganda about non-traditional sexual relations” amongst Russians under 18 years of age by broadcasting LGBT-themed series with a mark of 16+.
Her claim is being considered by the Moscow Department of the Interior Ministry, Vedomosti announced, citing a source in a report released Wednesday night.
Netflix declined to comment. The American firm could suffer a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($ 13,400) or a short stoppage of its service if it is found to have infringed the law, Vedomosti stated.
Rights groups have condemned Russia’s legislation. In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ordered that Russia’s gay propaganda law infringed European treaty laws, defiled the right to freedom of expression and discriminated toward LGBT people, a judgment that Moscow called unfairly.
The newspaper cited a source friendly to Netflix as stating that the company first this month verified its contribution of series and movies about the lives of parts of the LGBT society and discovered none with a 16+ label.
Moscow is breaking down on international tech companies in particular, what critics describe as an effort by the Russian officials to exert firmer control over the internet.
Vedomosti summarised this month that Russian powers were discussing changes in the way online streaming services are regulated.