Russian Federation bans Telegram encrypted messaging app

Court orders to block Telegram- immediately

Court orders to block Telegram- immediately

"No documents have been provided to us, the positions of the FSB [Russia's Federal Security Service] and Roskomnadzor [Russia's media watchdog] haven't been clarified", the lawyer said, adding that "Telegram has not received anything". Until Telegram hands over their keys to the FSB, the court has ordered that the ban remains in place. This decision does not come out of the blue since the Russian authorities asked for the keys needed to decrypt the users' messages sent via Telegram on more than just one occasion. The data law in question required the chat app to list its services in Roskomnadzor's register and provide more information about its services. The authorities, including Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), argued that terrorist plot attacks on the app that boasts 200 million users.

The Telegram app is a widely used messaging service because of its encryption feature.

The court gave it 15 days to hand over the encryption keys. According to Russian news agencies, the move has disrupted communication service for a number of people including senior government officials.

Roskomnadzor will add the addresses for blocking Telegram in Russian Federation on April 16, Interfax reports referring to a source familiar with the situation.

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Recipients will then receive an e-mail that requires them to click a link and input their Google credentials to view the e-mail. A recent report suggests that Google is working on a new Gmail design , and that it may feature self-destructing emails.

In its court filing, media regulator Roskomnadzor had said Telegram had failed to comply with its legal requirements as a "distributor of information".

Telegram was invented by the Russian internet entrepreneur Pavel Durov, who frequently clashed with the security services over his social network VKontakte and left Russia in 2014.

The court decision on Telegram is meant to make one of the last holdouts among communications companies bow to Putin's efforts to track electronic messaging. So popular is the app in Russian Federation that some highly placed government officials including the press officer to President Vladimir V. Putin is reported to be among its users. "Telegram will be more hard to shut as it's highly popular and offers users means to bypass blocking".

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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