Nationwide Telegram Ban Begins in Russia - Kremlin Switches to ICQ

Nationwide Telegram Ban Begins in Russia - Kremlin Switches to ICQ

It acted after a Moscow court ruled last week that Telegram's Russian founder Pavel Durov failed to comply with legislation requiring the company to give the Federal Security Service access to users' encrypted messages.

Tagansky court judge Yuliva Smolina granted a request by Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor to restrict user access with immediate effect. After the court ruling, the Russian watchdog said the messaging service had 15 days to provide the required information to the country's security agencies.

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.

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Telegram representatives insist that handing over of the encryption keys is technically impossible.

After it developed its own blockchain platform which was unveiled on April 13, Telegram has become the main dependable encrypted messenger for the Russian cryptocurrency industry. Durov said earlier last week the the latest version would have "built-in" features that would avoid the ban. "We see the decision to block it as anti-constitutional and will continue to defend Russians" right to private messaging", Durov wrote Monday on the VKontakte social network. Russian Federation isn't the only country banning the use of Telegram app, In China, the app has remained block since 2015 following a series of anti-government protest which was conducted using Telegram. "We will inform you on the developing situation", the messaging app notified its Russian users. Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) wants to access user data from Telegram through the sharing of encryption keys, but Telegram has refused to comply even after a court ruling.

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