Offices of search engine Yandex raided in Ukraine

Pauline Gross
June 9, 2017

"This information was later transmitted to Russian special services for planning, organizing and conducting reconnaissance and acts of sabotage that undermined the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Ukraine, SBU said in a statement.

The search follows condemnation and aggressive action towards Russian-based businesses and individuals earlier this month by the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko.

"The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is conducting searches in the offices of the subsidiary of the Russian company Yandex in Kiev and Odessa", SBU spokeswoman Olena Gitlyanska wrote on her Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) page.

The people whose personal information was illegally collected among others included military servicemen, security agents, government officials, SBU said.

Reuters says the basis of the complaint is that the company is collecting user data on Ukrainians and sending it back to Russian Federation.

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Yandex, which launched a global partnership programme in October which saw telecoms operators and smartphone makers including the likes of includes Fly, LAVA, Mobile TeleSystems, Multilaser, Posh Mobile, Wileyfox and ZTE sign up, has denied all wrong doing.

Yandex's only statement was to confirm that "representatives of Ukraine's Security Services" (the SBU) went to its offices in the two cities, adding that its lawyers would help with any investigation. At Yandex, our users are central to everything we do and we have always fiercely protected our users' data privacy.

In a separate case in 2011, Yandex confirmed that it had passed confidential data to Russia's state security service, the FSB.

Yandex is prepared to provide all required information to the Security Service of Ukraine, according to the company's press service.

More than 450 Russian firms have been blacklisted by Kiev since Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the ensuing pro-Russian separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine.

Other reports by GizPress

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