Published: Wed, April 18, 2018

Russian Federation blocks messaging app Telegram

Russian Federation blocks messaging app Telegram

But Roskomnadzor responded by banning more than 1.8 million IP addresses belonging to the tech giants yesterday.

Telegram isn't the first secure chat application targeted by the Russian government.

Pavel Durov, the founder of the popular Telegram messaging service, has pledged millions of dollars to fund tools that would allow users to sidestep new Internet restrictions imposed by the Russian government. According to Meduza, Amazon asked Zello to stop using its servers to get around the ban, forcing Zello to move its servers to Google's cloud service.

Around 10 activists were arrested after demonstrating outside the FSB security service headquarters against the move, Maria Alekhina, a member of the Russian protest punk group Pussy Riot, told Ekho Moskvy radio.

Telegram was actually founded in Russia, which has meant it has fallen under more scrutiny by Russian leaders than competing apps. At any given moment, a government can crash their stocks by threatening to block revenue streams from its markets and thus force these companies to do odd things (remember how a year ago Apple moved iCloud servers to China). "Since the day we launched in August 2013 we haven't disclosed a single byte of our users' private data to third parties".

Durov has long said he will reject any attempt by the country's security services to gain backdoor access to the app.

The popular messenger service, however, continued to operate uninterruptedly.

The messaging platform's decision to not hand out the keys will lead to repercussions and will be facing a ban in Russian Federation.

In February, Telegram was briefly missing from the Apple App Store. Allaying the fears of Telegram and its users, the FSB said obtaining the encryption keys does not violate users' privacy because the keys themselves are not regarded as information of restricted access.

In Moscow, the Telegram app was still functioning as normal by mid-afternoon on Monday, but the company's website had been blocked by two of Russia's biggest service providers, MTS (MBT.N)(MTSS.MM) and Megafon (MFON.MM).

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