Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Russian Federation to enforce nationwide ban on Telegram app

Russian Federation to enforce nationwide ban on Telegram app Russian Federation to enforce nationwide ban on Telegram app
Melinda Barton | 16 April, 2018, 19:14

The Roskomnadzor communications watchdog on Monday ordered internet and mobile phone operators to block access to Telegram within 24 hours. "Russian authorities have begun blocking Telegram".

The decision is effective immediately and will remain in force until Telegram developers provide the Russian Federal Security Service or FSB with an encryption key, she stated.

It acted after a Moscow court ruled last week that Telegram's Russian founder Pavel Durov failed to comply with legislation requiring the company to give the Federal Security Service access to users' encrypted messages. Durov said earlier last week the the latest version would have "built-in" features that would avoid the ban. 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 past year Apple moved iCloud servers to China). 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.

Telegram has over 9.5 million users in Russian Federation, according to researcher Mediascope. 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. In June 2017, the Russian media supervision agency, Roskomnadzor warned of an intention to ban the instant messaging app company which it has carried out this month.

Telegram has also consistently argued that the FSB's requests for encryption keys is unconstitutional and can't be met from a technical perspective without diminishing security for all users. We strongly suggest seeking advice from your own financial, investment, tax, or legal adviser.