Russian Federation implements ban on Telegram

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Russia's state telecommunications regulator said on Tuesday it had sent requests to Google and Apple asking them to remove the Telegram messenger service from their application stores, the Interfax news agency reported.

Roskomnadzor started implementing the court's decision on Monday by ordering internet service providers to block Telegram.

The court said Telegram should be blocked until it obeys a government order to provide users' encrypted messages to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

The regulator has also asked Apple and Google to pull Telegram from their Russian app stories.

This morning the Russian authorities blocked Telegram, therefore the service could be unstable with some telecom operators.

To enforce the ban, Roskomnadzor has blocked millions of IP addresses belonging to servers operated by Google and Amazon, the two US -based tech giants. Reportedly, government officials access the app via a VPN - a technique commonly used in Russian Federation to circumvent internet restrictions - to communicate with the media and coordinate timing for conference calls.

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However, Telegram said that the request was an affront to user privacy and refused to comply, leading to Friday's court ruling.

"We identify the IP addresses where the messenger is migrating and are blocking them", he told Vedomosti.

Amid the dragnet blocking by RKN, some people and companies, including Telegram competitor Viber, complained online that the measures affected other services which used Amazon and Google infrastructure. On Feb. 1, 2018, Durov took to Twitter again to reveal that Telegram was back in the App Store.

One of the leading instant messaging service companies, Telegram, has been blocked from carrying out its operations in Russian Federation weeks after a highly successful initial coin offering (ICO) which raked in $1.7 billion.

There is speculation the government could be slow to block Telegram for this reason, although the judge ordered an immediate ban, lasting until the company submits to the FSB's demands.

In his response to the block, founder Pavel Durov in a blog post on Monday wrote per Bloomberg: "We see the decision to block it as anti-constitutional and will continue to defend Russians' right to private messaging".