Russian Federation orders immediate block of Telegram messaging app

Alexandr Ryumin  TASS

Alexandr Ryumin TASS

The actions of the leadership of the company managing the Telegram messenger pose threat to Russia's interests and security of its citizens, Maria Smelyanskaya, a representative of Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, said during the hearing on the messenger blocking on Friday.

"Roskomnadzor has received the ruling of the Tagansky District Court to restrict access to the Internet resources of the Telegram Messenger Limited Liability Partnership information dissemination organizer on Russian territory".

The blocking must be carried out within 24 hours.

A Moscow court has ordered that chat app Telegram, which has raised $1.7 billion in its pre-initial coin offering, be blocked by Russia's telecommunication companies.

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The agency's lawyers also told reporters that access to Telegram in Russian Federation would be restored after the company fulfills the order to hand over the encryption keys.

The court order comes as Telegram refuses to provide law enforcement and intelligence operations with a key to read the encrypted messages on the service.

The media regulator sought to block the app because the firm had refused to hand over encryption keys used to scramble messages. Other users resorted to using virtual private networks that disguise their Russian internet location to continue using Telegram.

Twitterians in the Russian segment of the internet rushed to comment on the ban.

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"At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales".

"Telegram is a national achievement that Russia should be proud of", Russian journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov wrote Monday in a blog for Echo Moskvy radio.

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