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Russian Federation starts blocking Telegram messenger - regulator

16 April 2018

Russia's telecom and media watchdog, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, has received the ruling by Moscow's Tagansky District Court on restricting access to Telegram's products in Russian Federation.

The watchdog, Roskomnadzor, in a statement posted on its website, said that it had sent telecoms operators notification about blocking access to the service.

The Russian media censor is going to order App Store and Google Play to remove the Telegram messenger, TASS quoted Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov as saying.

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

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.

The media regulator sought to block the app because the firm had refused to hand over encryption keys used to scramble messages. After the court verdict was announced, they said the planned to file an appeal. The messaging service offers end-to-end encryption, meaning that Telegram itself has no access to the content of messages. The agency's lawyers also told reporters that access to Telegram in Russian Federation would be restored after the company fulfills the order to hand over the encryption keys.

Russian Federation starts blocking Telegram messenger - regulator