Telegram messenger app blocked in Russian Federation

Russian watchdog goes nuclear in attempts to enforce Telegram ban

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 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.

The Roskomnadzor communications watchdog on Monday ordered internet and mobile phone operators to block access to Telegram within 24 hours.

It's the same argument that Apple has used time and again when requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for it to provide de facto backdoor access to devices for law enforcers. "Russian authorities have begun blocking Telegram. We will inform you on the developing situation", the messaging app notified its Russian users. The app, just like other messaging apps like WhatsApp, is known for its security with its encrypted messages that prevents messages from being read even if they are intercepted.

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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. Telegram is especially popular among political activists, of all stripes, and is used by the Kremlin to communicate with journalists, but it has also been used by jihadists.

Nevertheless, Russian authorities have been pushing Telegram to change its data policies and store user information on local servers that authorities can access.

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