Russia Threatens to Ban Encrypted Messaging App Telegram

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Russia has threatened to block access to the Telegram messaging platform unless the company that runs the app provides more information about itself (via Sky News).

The head of communications regulator Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, said repeated efforts to obtain the information had been ignored by the company and warned that "time is running out" for the app.

"There is one demand and it is simple: to fill in a form with information on the company that controls Telegram," Zharov said in an open letter. "And to officially send it to Roskomnadzor to include this data in the registry of organizers of dissemination of information. In case of refusal… Telegram shall be blocked in Russia until we receive the needed information."

Telegram's non-response appears to be down to the repercussions of handing over the requested details: Doing so would effectively add it to the state regulators' registry, which would require it to retain users' chat histories and encryption keys and share them with authorities if asked, according to Russian news agency TASS.

The demand isn't the first time the Russian founders of Telegram – Kremlin, Nikolai and Pavel Durov – have failed to comply with state requests. In 2014, the Durovs refused to turn over data on Ukranian users of Vkontakte, a social network they also set up together.

Telegram claims to split its encryption keys into separate data centers around the world to ensure "no single government or block of like-minded countries can intrude on people's privacy and freedom of expression".

According to the group's policy, it can only be forced to hand over data if "an issue is grave and universal enough to pass the scrutiny of several different legal systems around the world".

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
42 months ago
Telegram rocks and care about privacy (and performance, integration, innovation)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
Anytime, any app that comes out in favour of customer's privacy, it is promptly blocked and banned by governments. Just in the name and sake of terrorism prevention. This ruse that governments use to spy on people will not last long. The real ones are always able to find a way, and the innocent ones have to bare their a**es for the government.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
Just switched all my friends and parents to Telegram. Hopefully they don't just disappear and are shut down and we have to find a cross platform messenger that doesn't involve any major social media company.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
Signal > Telegram
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
Telegram is unsafe. Use Signal or WhatsApp.
[doublepost=1498233652][/doublepost]

That may be, but no Mac client is a huge pitfall today. At least for me. I have managed without a phone in my pocket for 6 months now, just because I had Telegram on the Mac. (I do not make and receive more than 3-4 calls a month)

You can use the Chrome app. Not as ideal as a native app but it is a viable Mac desktop client.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

*this.

Still surprises me every time I hear people go on about Telegram... it is inferior, there are better options. If security is your concern and you are trying to have friends/family switch to a new messaging platform anyway, use Signal:

https://www.eff.org/node/82654

Even Whatsapp is rated higher than Telegram, lol. And afaik, it's security is based on Signal's.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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