Monday, May 23, 2022

Hashtag Trending Feb. 28 – big tech’s business restrictions against Russia

Tech companies are applying business restrictions against Russia in compliance with sanctions imposed against the country following its invasion of Ukraine. This is by no means an exhaustive list, these are just the heaviest restrictions that have been announced in the past week.

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Thank you for tuning into Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, Feb. 28, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Intel and AMD have stopped exporting their processors to Russia, according to several news outlets. According to Tom’s Hardware, the restrictions are similar to the sanction against Huawei, except that it applies to an entire country. Although AMD and Intel are suspending sales immediately, its impact on the global semiconductor economy may be smaller than one assumes. Russia only purchases just 0.1 per cent of the global chip supply. With a majority of its chips cut off, Russia may need to seek alternatives within the country, but even that may prove difficult as TSMC announced its own business restrictions against Russia.

Over the weekend, Google has cut ad revenues for RT, Russia’s state-owned media YouTube channel. Google cited “extraordinary circumstances” as it paused monetization for RT and other channels affiliated with the recent sanction against Russia. YouTube has also tweaked its algorithm so that videos from these outlets will appear less often, but not completely removed. Additionally, Reuters reported that Russian media will not be able to buy ads through Google Tools or place ads on Google services. Google Pay has also stopped working in the country.

Apple is also imposed restrictions against Russia by disabling Apple Pay in the country. This change is an extension of the sanctions against Russian banks. As a result, U.S.-based payment systems will no longer accept any cards issued by sanctioned banks, which include Apple Pay and Google Pay. The restrictions apply even if the customer is abroad. Companies registered in countries that comply with the sanctions will also reject Russian credit cards.

Now for something a bit different. The self-proclaimed vigilante hacking collective Annonymous has apparently hacked the Russian State TV to broadcast news on the war in Ukraine. A 44-second video clip posted on Reddit appears to show the detrimental effects of war on Ukrainians on a Russian TV broadcast. Corroborating Tweets also reports that the disruption affected all Russian TV stations, although the claim wasn’t confirmed. The group also claimed that it had breached Russia’s Ministry of Defense, releasing a list of personal information supposedly belonging to high-ranking members of the ministry.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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