Russian Federation starts blocking Telegram app

17 April, 2018, 20:39 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Alexander Scherbak  TASS

In addition to already blocked 1.8 million IP-addresses of Amazon and Google companies, the federal agency has added in a few portions another about 14 million addresses belonging to both companies to the register of prohibited sites. Telegram was ordered to go dark across the country for refusing to give up its encryption keys, which could have exposed its users' data, Bloomberg reported. The ban came as a result of its refusal to give Russian intelligence authorities access to its user encryption keys. The Kremlin has used it for arranging conference calls with reporters.

All messaging services in Russian Federation that offer encryption need to register with authorities.

The watchdog chose an all-out response, blocking some 15 million IP addresses reportedly belonging to the two USA companies in an attempt to corner Telegram and block all access.

Telegram lawyer Pavel Chikov said the court's decision should serve as a warning to tech firms about doing business in Russian Federation, where "the court system is devoted to serving the interests of the authorities". "Since the day we launched in August 2013 we haven't disclosed a single byte of our users' private data to third parties". A suicide bomber who killed 15 people on a subway train in St Petersburg last April used the app to communicate with accomplices, the FSB said past year. The company operates upon the foundation of believing that humans are benevolent beings and deserve to be trusted.

Many lampooned Roskomnadzor's decision on social media, saying the move to ban so many IP addresses had secondary repercussions, as it also blocked many legitimate web services. Telegram has since returned to the App Store. After an 18-minute hearing in a Moscow court, the ban was announced.

A recent demand by Russian security agency the FSB to help Telegram decrypt messages linked to six phone numbers went unanswered by the firm.

Is the end in sight for Telegram in Russian Federation?

This morning the Russian authorities blocked Telegram, therefore the service could be unstable with some telecom operators.

In addition to 1.8 million IP-addresses of Amazon and Google that were blocked yesterday, the agency several times included almost 14 million addresses belonging to both companies in the register of banned websites. The decision can be appealed.



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