Russian Federation begins blocking access to Telegram app

Postado Abril 16, 2018

"This information was sent to providers on Monday 16th of April", the watchdog said in a statement.

On Friday, Moscow's Tagansky court blocked access to the cloud-based instant messaging service, Telegram, in Russian Federation over its failure to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service, the FSB.

The decision followed repeated refusal by the company to hand over encryption keys for its messages to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). The service could be unstable without a VPN.

Russian state telecommunications regulator said on Monday that the country has started to implement a nationwide ban on the secure messaging app Telegram. "It is telling that authoritarian governments (eg Russia) are trying to block Telegram over encryption, but are more relaxed when it comes to other encrypted messaging apps", Pavel Durov, the app's maverick creator - dubbed Russia's Mark Zuckerberg - wrote on Twitter.

The ruling by Moscow judge Yulia Smolina imposes restrictions on access to Telegram and stops providing technical support for message transmission in order to meet the requirements of Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor. He also said that the agency would soon address the App Store and Google Play with official demands to make the downloading of Telegram's applications impossible in Russian Federation.

Regardless of the ban, Durov announced on Tass (Translated from Russian) that Telegram would still be able to notify its Russian users about the situation.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov has maintained that the service does not have access to the encryption tools.

After it developed its own blockchain platform which was unveiled on April 13, Telegram has become the main dependable encrypted messenger for the Russian cryptocurrency industry. He has since been a vocal critic of the Kremlin's policies on Internet freedom.