Telegram App Banned in Russian Federation

Michele Moreno
April 17, 2018

The April 13 court decision followed a months-long standoff between Telegram and the Federal Security Service (FSB), which demanded access to its users' messages.

The watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said in a statement on its website that it had sent telecoms operators a notification about blocking access to Telegram inside Russian Federation.

The service, set up by a Russian entrepreneur, has more than 200 million global users and is ranked as the world's ninth most popular mobile messaging app. "In light of this, information on these online resources was sent to the operators on Monday, April 16, with regards to restricting access", the watchdog said, according to Russia's TASS news agency.

A Moscow court has ordered that chat app Telegram, which has raised $1.7 billion in its pre-initial coin offering, be blocked by Russia's telecommunication companies. This comes after the messaging company refused to give Russian security services encryption keys. Even if Durov changes Telegram's software to try to bypass Russia's block, "he will realize that most people just don't want to bother", Kremlin internet adviser German Klimenko said on Facebook.

In 2017, Telegram and Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor seemingly found a common ground created to see the former continue to offer its services unhindered.

Durov has suggested Telegram users will find ways around a ban.

The service is the creation of Russian businessman Pavel Durov, who criticized the ban Monday in a statement on social media.

Writing on Vkontakte, the social media platform Durov founded that is now under state control, he said the decision harms Russia's national security as users will switch to WhatsApp and Facebook which are "controlled from the U.S.".

The messaging app is widely used across Russian Federation and many nations in the Middle East, as well as around the rest of the world.

The court ruling headed by Yuliya Smolina heeded to the application of the Russian Communications regulator Roskomnadzor to deny users access to the Telegram app citing failure to comply with local legislation.

"Russian authorities have begun blocking Telegram".

Other reports by Insurance News

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