Telegram is banned from Russian Federation following court ruling

15 April, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • Telegram is banned from Russian Federation following court ruling

In what's come as a surprise to no one, a court has ordered encrypted messaging service Telegram to be banned in Russian Federation.

Allaying the fears of Telegram and its users, the FSB said obtaining the encryption keys does not violate users' privacy because the keys themselves are not regarded as information of restricted access. This decision does not come out of the blue since the Russian authorities asked for the keys needed to decrypt the users' messages sent via Telegram on more than just one occasion.

A district court on Friday pulled the plug on Telegram after the messaging service refused to hand over encryption keys to its messages after repeated request from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). It's not clear how immediate the ban will be, though.

According to the Federal Law "On Information, Information Technologies and the Protection of Information", organizers of information distribution on the Internet must submit information about users and their messages to the authorized governmental bodies conducting investigative activities and ensuring the state security.

The court ruling is not the first time Telegram has been mired in controversey, however.




"The FSB's requirements to provide access to private conversations of users are unconstitutional, baseless, which can not be fulfilled technically and legally", said Pavel Chikov, Telegram's lawyer.

Telegram founder and CEO, Pavel Durov, said the app will be using built-in systems to circumnavigate the ban but could not guarantee complete access without a virtual private network, or VPN. Pavel Chikov, a lawyer representing Telegram, described the decision as a warning to other tech companies.

Durov, the Telegram founder, posted about the ruling on his VKontakte page, Russia's largest social network. Russia's Foreign Ministry has announced that it's moving to the Viber messaging app, the NYT reported, citing the Interfax news agency. In March this year, the messaging firm said that it has surpassed the 200 million users mark globally.

It is notably used by the Kremlin to communicate with reporters and arrange conference calls with President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.

Three weeks ago, we informed you that encrypted messaging app Telegram was under fire in Russian Federation.

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