Russia Threatens to Ban Encrypted Messaging App Telegram
Jun 23, 2017 3:58 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
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".

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Top Rated Comments

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15 months ago
Telegram rocks and care about privacy (and performance, integration, innovation)
Rating: 10 Votes
15 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.
Rating: 6 Votes
15 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.
Rating: 6 Votes
15 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
15 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
15 months ago
Signal > Telegram
Rating: 4 Votes
15 months ago

Signal > Telegram


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)
Rating: 2 Votes
15 months ago
As if all people are stupid nowadays, more and more people know a way around these restrictions, so, why block it.
Rating: 2 Votes
15 months ago

Signal > Telegram

*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
Rating: 2 Votes
15 months ago

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.


Telegram has already turned into a social-media company itself.

As noted by the article, Telegram is controlled by the people who used to be in charge of the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It is this connection that the Russian Government ostensibly uses to put pressure on them to comply with their demands. Too risky and high-profile for me. Their server infrastructure as well as crypto implementation (which they invented themselves) is still closed-source and apparently not audited that often (at least I find little information other than a reference to an audit in 2015), whereas the apps’ source code is chronically outdated. We don't actually know how things are operated behind the scenes.
Rating: 2 Votes

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