Messaging App 'Telegram' Has Been Banned In Russia

Telegram messenger app blocked in Russia

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 actions of the leadership of the company managing the Telegram messenger pose threat to Russia's interests and security of its citizens, Maria Smelyanskaya, a representative of Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, said during the hearing on the messenger blocking on Friday.

Russian Federation began implementing a ban on the Telegram messenger service for refusing to hand over encryption keys to security services, a move that forced Kremlin officials to switch to another provider for communications with media.

Telegram has more than nine million users in Russian Federation alone, and an estimated 200 million users worldwide. Telegram said those demands would be impossible to implement since the keys were stored on users' devices.


In response to Friday's court ruling, Telegram's co-founder Pavel Durov tweeted: "Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed".

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. It says it has more than 200 million active users. According to Russia's FSB Federal Security service, they claim that they need these keys in order to intercept messages that will help them prevent or safeguard against terrorist attacks.

"Telegram is a national achievement that Russia should be proud of", Russian journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov wrote Monday in a blog for Echo Moskvy radio. He has since been a vocal critic of the Kremlin's policies on Internet freedom.

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