Russian Regulator Orders To Block Telegram


In Moscow, the Telegram app was still functioning as normal early on Monday afternoon.

Roskomnadzor had previously asked a Russian court to block the service for failing to comply with Russian regulations.

Russia's communications watchdog has started to enforce a nationwide ban on popular messaging application Telegram. The ruling came into force immediately.

The April 13 court decision followed a months-long standoff between Telegram and the Federal Security Service (FSB), which demanded access to its users' messages.

In June 2017, Roskomnadzor requested Telegram management to comply with the Russian legislation or face blocking of the messenger. Even if Durov changes Telegram's software to try to bypass Russia's block, "he will realize that most people just don't want to bother", Kremlin internet adviser German Klimenko said on Facebook. Telegram's top officials said that this requirement was impossible to meet technically and tried to challenge it in several court battles, but to no avail.

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In July, Durov received the FSB requests to provide information for decoding messages of six app users.

Durov had ordered Telegram's lawyers not to attend the court hearing on April 13, calling it "a farce", and Judge Yulia Smolina issued the ruling less than 20 minutes after opening the session.

Russian Federation implemented strict anti-terrorism laws in 2016, which required messaging services to provide authorities with the ability to decrypt messages. On March 19, the lawsuit was dismissed.

According to the Federal Law "On Information, Information Technologies and the Protection of Information", organizers of information distribution on the Internet must submit information about users and their messages to the authorized governmental bodies conducting investigative activities and ensuring the state security.