In the wake of increasing government control over the internet in recent years, Google and Facebook are hiring public policy and government relations managers to advise the companies on operations in Russia.
More specifically, Google is looking to recruit a Moscow-based Public Policy and Government Relations Manager, who will “help shape various product and issue agendas with policy makers inside and outside government [...] to advance policy positions that benefit our users and an open Internet more generally,” while Facebook seeks to hire a Russia Public Policy Manager (to be based in Warsaw). Key aspects of the role will be to “monitor legislation and regulatory matters affecting Facebook in Russia” and “advise the company with respect to policy challenges”.
While thus far Facebook and Google have evaded any harsh demands from the Russian government, the companies have had numerous run-ins with government media watchdog Roskomnadzor, including for defying censorship laws. In April 2017, Google agreed to pay a $7.8 million fine for violating local laws on competition, as well as to end exclusivity of its applications on Android devices in Russia and allow the pre-installation of any competing search engines and apps. The new positions opening up at the companies suggest that they expect a harder ride ahead.