World

Roskomnadzor will start to block the instruments of circumventing the prohibition Telegram

Roskomnadzor will start to block the instruments of circumventing the prohibition Telegram

"Russian authorities have begun blocking Telegram".

The blocking of Telegram messenger service in Russian Federation may take several hours, Russia's telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov told Interfax on Monday.

The decision is effective immediately and will remain in force until Telegram developers provide the Russian Federal Security Service or FSB with an encryption key, she stated.

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. Telegram is especially popular among political activists, of all stripes, and is used by the Kremlin to communicate with journalists, but it has also been used by jihadists.




The company's owner Pavel Durov - born in St Petersburg but now living in the West - released a statement via the app on Friday, claiming that "the power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money". "Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed". Other countries to have blocked the app or its services includes Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bahrain.

Telegram was unavailable to users on Monday for a short time but was back online later in the day. Over the past few years, Telegram has been faced with security concerns since it became the most preferred app by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and as at October 2015, had 9000 followers on their official Telegram channel.

The court order comes as Telegram refuses to provide law enforcement and intelligence operations with a key to read the encrypted messages on the service.


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