Telegram messenger app blocked in Russian Federation

Monday, 16 Apr, 2018

A court in Moscow has approved a request from the Russian media regulator to block the Telegram messaging app immediately.

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.

"I won't tell you the exact time when the block on Telegram will begin", he said. "This may take days, hours, or minutes".

The access to Telegram will be denied and there won't be technical conditions for sending messages, reported the Russian news agency TASS.

A suicide bomber who killed 15 people on a subway train in St Petersburg last April used the app to communicate with accomplices, the FSB said a year ago. "Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed".

"There is a certain legislation that demands certain data to be passed to certain services of the Russian Federation", Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitri S. Peskov, said, adding that his office would resort to an alternative app the moment Telegram ceased working.

Roskomnadzor claimed that Telegram had not been entirely honest in its statements, as some unnamed experts said that it is still possible to give the security services some keys allowing secret messages to be decoded.