Russia's state telecommunications regulator said on Monday that it had begun blocking access to messenger service Telegram, implementing a decision by a Russian court from last week.
A Russian court on Friday ruled to ban popular instant messaging service "Telegram" over its failure to provide access to the Russian security services to users' encrypted messages. Durov said earlier last week the the latest version would have "built-in" features that would avoid the ban. He wrote on his VK page: "The power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money". At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales. Telegram, a free application that lets people exchange messages, stickers, photos and videos in groups of up to 5,000 people, has attracted more than 200 million users since its launch by Durov and his brother Nikolai in 2013.
"Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed", Durov, who left Russian Federation in 2014, said on Telegram after the ruling. Unfortunately it seems that it is this level of security and privacy that has resulted in the app getting banned in Russian Federation. Iran has also banned the Telegram service although it was later removed on January 13.
Telegram was unavailable to users on Monday for a short time but was back online later in the day.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications and technology watchdog, had demanded that the app be blocked.
The decision followed repeated refusal by the company to hand over encryption keys for its messages to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). This website does not provide legal, investment, tax, etc advice. We strongly suggest seeking advice from your own financial, investment, tax, or legal adviser.