Russian court rules to block Telegram messaging app

The suit sought to limit Russians' access to Telegram after the company's refusals to allow Russian authorities to read its users' messages.

The move was made after Telegram refused to give up the encryption keys they has used to scramble messages, and security officials reported being anxious about potential terror activity on the platform. Telegram is refusing to comply, and now a Russian court ruled in favor of blocking the app in the country.

The New York Times reported that Telegram had instructed its lawyers not to attended the hearing, which was scheduled yesterday, in protest of the rapid pace of the proceedings.

But Russia's FSB Federal Security service has said it needs access to some of those messages for its work that includes guarding against terrorist attacks.

Last year, Russian Federation threatened to ban Telegram, after claiming the encrypted messaging app was used in a terror plot that left 16 people dead. While it might be possible for individuals to use virtual private networks for the Tor anonymity service to bypass such a move, the blocks would likely cause a major disruption for most Telegram users in that country. "Telegram will be more hard to shut as it's highly popular and offers users means to bypass blocking".

Influential users include Margarita Simonyan, the head of the state-funded TV station Russia Today, and Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's press secretary, who schedules briefings using the service.

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FSB's emphasis on getting access is because Telegram HS a terrorist problem due to the emphasis it places on user privacy. "What matters most is privacy which is not for sale and more to that human rights should not be compromised out of greed or fear". Roskomnadzor said on its website it will start the procedure to block Telegram once it receives a written ruling from the court.

"The irony is that those in the Kremlin and government often use the service to communicate with journalists", a British journalist based in Russian Federation told i.

Third-party VPN/Proxy-might be overloaded, which is likely to result in slow operation during the first hours after the block.

Durov, the Telegram founder, posted about the ruling on his VKontakte page, Russia's largest social network.

In a show of pure hypocrisy, members of the Kremlin use Telegram to talk with other politicians as well as communicate with journalists.


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