Russia Bans Access to Telegram Encrypted Messenger Service [Updated]

Friday April 13, 2018 3:29 AM PDT by Tim Hardwick

A Russian law court has ordered that access to the Telegram encrypted messaging service should be blocked, according to Russian news agencies on Friday (via Reuters).

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.

Top Rated Comments

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26 months ago

Goodbye to free speech ...

To be fair, Russia never said hello to free speech.;)
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

Signal is a lot better anyway and has censorship circumvention.


Telegram has great cloud-syncing, instant and synchronised notifications across devices, GIF-integration etc.. They are both great, with their own pros and cons.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

I’d like to explore the reverse implications of knowing that Telegram is banned. What services that include a one-to-one messenger aren’t banned? Lest we pretend those are not wiretapped?


Good point. Putin's fear of private communication, protests and even blogs speaks volumes about his vile dictatorship.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

And yet, the idiot in your avatar that you support loves Russia, is a Putin puppet and wants us to be more like his vile dictatorship.


Oh come on. I don't like Trump either (at all) but when did he ever do something that benefited Russia? Last time I checked he was threatening to attack them in Syria and risk starting WW3. The idea that Trump is in any way supportive of Russia is absurd and laughable.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Signal is a lot better anyway and has censorship circumvention.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago

Yet Signal’s encryption is a lot better, it’s used by Edward Snowden and with Telegram being ISIS’ main communication platform it’s certainly much more under the radar of goverment agencies.

This is great.


Which means nothing if no one among your contacts uses it. Most of my contacts use Whatsapp unfortunately.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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