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Russian court orders immediate nationwide ban on Telegram messaging app

Apps on a phone. (Free Use/Pixabay)
April 13, 2018

The fate of the ongoing conflict between Russia’s telecommunications supervisory body, Roskomnadzor, and the messaging app, Telegram, has been decided by the courts.

A Russian court have ruled that Telegram can no longer be used, and they ordered an immediate block on the app.

The conflict began when Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced it wanted access to Telegram’s user data by way of encryption key sharing.

In 2016, Russia put severe anti-terrorism laws in place that ordered messaging services, like Telegram, to cooperate with officials and grant them access to their message decryption.

Even after courts ordered Telegram to act in accordance with the law and grant access to the FSB, Telegram refused.

In response to Telegram’s noncompliance, courts ordered a full and immediate block of the app.

“At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales. Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed,” Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov said after the app was ordered blocked.

“The power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money. At any given moment, a government can crash their stocks by threatening to block revenue streams from its markets and thus force these companies to do strange things (remember how last year Apple moved iCloud servers to China),” he added.

The ban will not be removed until Telegram hands over the decryption keys to the FSB, reported TASS, a Russian state-sponsored news agency.

It is expected that Telegram will move forward with the appeals process.