Publicado: Sáb, Abril 14, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Russian court orders 'immediate' ban of Telegram

Russian court orders 'immediate' ban of Telegram

According to a blog post attributed to Telegram founder Pavel Durov, the app has built-in workarounds for such bans.

However late last month Telegram lost a bid before the Supreme Court to block security services from getting access to users' data, though it said it planned to appeal.

Russian Federation is preparing to block the Telegram app over its failure to help government authorities access encrypted messages.

The free application, which lets people exchange messages, photos and videos in groups of up to 5,000 people, has attracted more than 200-million users since its launch in 2013.

As well as being popular with journalists and members of Russia's political opposition, Telegram is also used by the Kremlin to communicate with reporters and arrange regular conference calls with President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.

The Russian court's decision to block Telegram can hurt the company since it is a relatively popular app and can be accessed on mobile devices as well as desktops.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, whose team uses Telegram to arrange briefings for reporters, said on Friday that Russia would not have made a decision to block the service if the company had fulfilled the requirements of Russian law.

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"I believe discussing possible circumventions in the media is an unacceptable manifestation of legal nihilism". Meeting this condition would have allowed for a consensus.

Security officials say they need to monitor potential terrorists.

The law "On personal data" came into force in Russia on September 1, obliges Russian and foreign companies to provide the storage of the personal data of the Russians at the territory of Russia.

Durov was famously forced out of his own VKontakte social network as the Russian government cracked down on the firm.

In Russia meanwhile, multiple media outlets have published options for users to circumvent the block, something which is reportedly easy to do through the use of VPN services.

Judging by Durov's response, it appears as though Russians will lose their ability to access Telegram normally at least until the government decides to lift the ban.

Since 2017, Russian authorities have continually threatened to ban Telegram from the country over the developers' repeated refusal to grant them access to user data.

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