Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Tech | By Anita Cain

Roskomnadzor put Telegram in banned websites list

Roskomnadzor put Telegram in banned websites list

The court ruling on Friday came after Telegram refused to give Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) encryption keys that would grant access to user messaging data.

"The ban on access to information will be in force until the FSB's demands are met on providing keys for decrypting user messages", she said. Russia's Supreme Court rejected the company's suit on March 20 of this year, and granted Telegram 15 days to provide access to the FSB.

According to Vedomosti, Telegram now has a month to appeal the block.

A Russian court has ordered that access to the Telegram messaging service should be blocked in the country. The data law in question required the chat app to list its services in Roskomnadzor's register and provide more information about its services. Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram Messenger, has confirmed that his company will not create a backchannel for government authorities to snoop on user messages.

Certain implementations of Telegram, such as the mobile app, are more hard to cut off than others. Roskomnadzor threatened with the trial if Telegram would not pass the encryption keys to the FSB. In Russia, government officials, journalists and members of the opposition use Telegram, according to Reuters.

Telegram was still available late Friday afternoon in Russian Federation, several hours after the court ruling.

"Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed", Durov wrote on his Telegram channel, adding that Telegram enjoys "the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales".

A Telegram representative did not attend the court session.

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

Russia's deputy communications minister, Alexei Volin, said VPNs and other ways of circumnavigating the ban meant Telegram users would not be greatly inconvenienced.

Today, a Moscow district court granted a request from the Russian communications and technology watchdog agency, Roskomnadzor, to block Telegram with immediate effect.

Telegram's service has faced temporary blocks in Iran - over content being spread on the platform that the regime dislikes.

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