Spotify pulls service in Russia, citing censorship law there

Russian law “puts the safety of Spotify's employees and the possibility of even our listeners at risk,” company says.
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The Spotify app
The Spotify app
(MARTIN BUREAU/Getty)

Streaming giant Spotify said this week that it was suspending services in Russia, citing the country’s harsh censorship laws that impose stiff penalties for anyone the country deems distributing “misinformation” about the Russian military.

The Russian government has threatened violators of that law with up to 15 years in prison. Spotify in a statement to media outlets said the legislation drove its decision to yank services in that country. 

"Spotify has continued to believe that it's critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to provide trusted, independent news and information from the region," the company said.

"Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation further restricting access to information, eliminating free expression, and criminalizing certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify's employees and the possibility of even our listeners at risk."

Multiple major media outlets including the New York Times and CNN have already pulled reporting from Russia over concerns about the new law.