Telegram messenger app blocked in Russian Federation

Erika Holt
April 16, 2018

"Roskomnadzor has received the ruling of (Moscow's) Tagansky court to block Telegram's services on Russian territory".

The Russian telecommunications watchdog has issued an order to internet providers restricting access to web resources used by Telegram messenger, which lost a court battle with the authorities over encryption.

Russia's state media watchdog Roskomnadzor asked the court to ban Telegram "immediately" after its ruling.

Telegram representatives insist that handing over of the encryption keys is technically impossible. Telegram is especially popular among political activists, of all stripes, and is used by the Kremlin to communicate with journalists, but it has also been used by jihadists. Durov said earlier last week the the latest version would have "built-in" features that would avoid the ban. He wrote on his VK page: "The power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money".

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Durov who fled the country in 2014 said that the company has "the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales". "Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed". Unfortunately it seems that it is this level of security and privacy that has resulted in the app getting banned in Russian Federation. Iran has also banned the Telegram service although it was later removed on January 13.

Life quality of 15 million Russians will get worse, as Telegram may become unavailable without a VPN from time to time.

Russian Federation began implementing a ban on the Telegram messenger service for refusing to hand over encryption keys to security services, a move that forced Kremlin officials to switch to another provider for communications with media.

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