Slack Warns Russian Users Suspension

The popular corporate messaging platform Slack has warned its Russian users that their accounts will be suspended within 30 days, citing compliance with sanctions and export control laws imposed by the United States, the European Union, and other jurisdictions.

The company communicated this decision in a letter sent to clients based in the Russian Federation, which was obtained by RIA Novosti.

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On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, specifically prohibiting the provision of IT consulting, design services, support services, and cloud services for enterprise management and design and production software to any person or entity in Russia. These restrictions are set to take effect on September 12, 2024.

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In the letter, Slack stated, “Our records indicate that your account is based in Russia, primarily used by users in Russia, or otherwise related to distribution in Russia. Unfortunately, by current legislation, we are forced to suspend your account and will suspend it in 30 days.”

Pavel Potekhin, executive director of MTS Link, added that, according to local agency reports, companies that purchased Slack licenses abroad also receive these suspension notices.

This is not the first time Slack has taken action against Russian users due to international sanctions. In March 2022, the company began disconnecting some of its clients in Russia.

More recently, in February 2023, media reports indicated that Slack had sent notifications to Russian users about the blocking of accounts registered to email addresses in the .ru zone, effective from March 21.

The latest move by Slack is part of a broader trend of tech companies complying with sanctions and export control measures aimed at pressuring Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

As tensions between Russia and Western countries continue to escalate, more companies will likely be forced to navigate the complex landscape of international sanctions and their impact on users and businesses worldwide.

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Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.