The development follows last week's news that Russia's media regulator had filed legal proceedings to block the app in the country because the company refused to enable state security services to access users' messages.
The Telegram platform allows people to communicate with each other using end-to-end encryption, meaning no-one – not even Telegram – has access to messages sent between users.
The app has over 200 million users globally. They include Kremlin staff, who use Telegram to coordinate conference calls with Vladimir Putin's spokesman. Many government officials also use the messenger app to communicate with media, according to Reuters.
When Reuters asked a person in the Russian government on how they would operate without access to Telegram, the person, who asked not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue, replied by sending a screenshot of his mobile phone with an open VPN app.Telegram becomes the second global network after LinkedIn to be blocked in Russia. In 2016, a court found LinkedIn guilty of violating a law that requires companies holding Russian citizens' data to store it on servers within Russia.
Update 04/17: The Russian government has formally requested that Apple remove Telegram from its regional App Store in the country, reports Reuters.
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.