Telegram messenger app blocked in Russian Federation

"The court has ruled to refuse the request of the Telegram party and look into the case without the participation of Telegram representatives", Interfax quotes Tagansky District Court Judge Yulia Smolina. However, he refused to abide by "laws incompatible with Telegram privacy policy", Durov wrote on his VKontakte (VK) page in late June. The FSB has said it needs access to some messages for security reasons, including countering terrorist activity.

Telegram, a telecommunications app has become very popular especially in the cryptocurrency world. This was just after a few weeks when the project raised a whopping 1.7 billion dollars in its ICO presale in a bid to support the development of its own Blockchain platform.

Durov later announced that Telegram would use built-in systems to circumnavigate the ban.

While the court order is effective immediately, the head of Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov clarified that the messenger will be blocked after the necessary technical preparation is completed. However, in 30 days, the decision can be appealed.

Because Telegram is recognised as an operator of information dissemination in Russian Federation, the company is required to provide encryption keys to let the Federal Security Service read the correspondence of suspected terrorists.

Telegram is the second global network to be blocked in Russia after LinkedIn was banned in 2016 for failing to comply with a law that requires companies holding Russian citizens' data to store it on servers on Russian soil.

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Privacy-focused messaging app Telegram today was banned in Russian Federation for once again refusing to turn over its encryption keys to government authorities. According to FSB, a suicide bombing on a subway train in April past year where 15 people were killed was organized using the Telegram app.

However, according to Telegram, not only is this requirement unconstitutional, it is also technically impossible as the encryption keys keep changing. This prompted the court action.

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

The company is registered in the Virgin Islands. It has been called the "app of choice for many Isis, pro-Isis and other jihadi and terrorist elements" by Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which tracks terrorists' online communications, due to the strong level of encryption it deploys.

"Threats to block Telegram unless it gives up private data of its users won't bear fruit".

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