Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Messaging App 'Telegram' Has Been Banned In Russia

Messaging App 'Telegram' Has Been Banned In Russia

There are some of you guys who might be familiar with the Telegram messaging app.

A Moscow court has ordered that chat app Telegram, which has raised $1.7 billion in its pre-initial coin offering, be blocked by Russia's telecommunication companies. The watchdog's chief, Aleksandr Zharov, told Russian media he plans on cutting off access to Telegram "soon".

"The FSB's requirements to provide access to private conversations of users are unconstitutional, baseless, which can not be fulfilled technically and legally", he said. "This may take days, hours, or minutes". The court ruling follows a Federal Security Services (FSB) demand for Telegram to hand over the "encryption keys" that would allow authorities to read the private conversations of users after the April 2017 St. Petersburg metro terrorist attack.

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As expected, messaging app Telegram has been formally blocked in Russian Federation after its owner refused to hand the authorities encryption keys to help with investigations.

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. The company refused to provide the information, and the service founder, Pavel Durov, stated that the company would not comply with laws that violate privacy of its users and contradict the messenger's values. The messaging service offers end-to-end encryption, meaning that Telegram itself has no access to the content of messages.

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.

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