Russian Federation to Restrict Access to Telegram

Alexander Scherbak  TASS

Russian news agency Tass reports that the encrypted messaging service will be "blocked immediately" following the ruling and notes that the ban will be in place until Telegram provides decryption keys to the FSB. It appears now that the promise is coming true because a Moscow court has officially issued a ban on the secure messaging application.

"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. FSB demanded those keys because it wanted to read user messages as part of its anti-terror measures.

The FSB has said that it must be able to see some of the messages sent through Telegram in order to prevent terrorist attacks, but the company defends its refusal to comply by saying that it respects the privacy of its users. Under the very real threat of blocking, Telegram agreed to register, but reiterated that it would not share confidential user data with the authorities.

The Supreme Court docket docket last month threw out an enchantment by Telegram in opposition to the requirement to supply the information. The judge ordered that Russian Federation be blocked immediately until Telegram provides keys to the FSB so it can decrypt users' messages.

Durov said that Telegram users in Russian Federation may be able to circumvent the ban using some of the app's built-in systems, but he added that users may need to use a virtual private network to access Telegram in the country.

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Alfie is in a semi-vegetative state and has a degenerative neurological condition that has never been definitively diagnosed by doctors.

The Russian communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, told Telegram in mid-2017 that it had to hand over the keys to users' encrypted conversations.

"Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed", he said.

"At Telegram, we don't care about revenue streams or even ads".

Earlier attempts to block specific services in Russia - such as Linkedin and file sharing site RuTracker - have largely been met with derision by tech-savvy Russian internet users, who have turned to TOR and VPN services to circumvent clumsy, inefficient service-level blocks. "But unfortunately this consensus was not reached".

Telegram is arguably the first widely popular means of communications in Russian Federation that has been officially banned.

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