Russian Federation to enforce nationwide ban on Telegram app

Nellie Chapman
April 16, 2018

The announcement comes days after a Moscow district court authorized Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor to immediately block Telegram in Russia, without waiting for an appeal to be considered.

Tagansky court judge Yuliva Smolina granted a request by Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor to restrict user access with immediate effect.

The access to Telegram will be denied and there won't be technical conditions for sending messages, reported the Russian news agency TASS.

TWEET: If there's something that should not be banned in Russian Federation, it's Telegram.

Telegram representatives insist that handing over of the encryption keys is technically impossible.

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In a social media post on Russia's VKontakte, Durov said Telegram will use "built-in methods" to try and circumvent the government attempts to block the app. He wrote on his VK page: "The power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money". At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales. Writing on Vkontakte, the social media platform he founded that is now under state control, Durov said the decision harms Russia's national security as users will switch to WhatsApp and Facebook which are "controlled from the USA". "Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed". Other countries to have blocked the app or its services includes Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bahrain.

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

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.

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