Russia blocks Telegram over data row

Telegram messenger logo on a tablet screen

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In a dispute over access to messages to fight terrorism, a Russian court order blocked the messaging app Telegram on Friday.

The FSB had requested that Telegram, which has more than 200 million users worldwide, hand over its encryption keys, which would allow the authorities to read all messages sent using Telegram.

It's unclear what this means for the company's TON network ICO, which already sold out its first and second rounds of pre-sale before it seemed a general public sale might not be on the cards at all.

A POPULAR Russian messaging app utilized by ISIS terrorists has been blocked by a Russian courtroom following requires by authorities to share its encryption information. The laws, however, grant the government expansive powers to access user data and communications from internet and telecom companies. Durov has responded defiantly, saying Telegram will try to bypass the ban, though he couldn't guarantee users could keep accessing it without a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

An amusing wrinkle: The Kremlin itself reportedly uses Telegram to communicate with journalists.

The court filing by Roskomnadzor says Telegram had failed to abide by the rules and regulations as a "distributor of information".

Because Telegram is recognised as an operator of information dissemination in Russian Federation, the company is required to provide encryption keys to let the Federal Security Service read the correspondence of suspected terrorists.

The ban is the outcomes of a protracted row between Telegram and Russian officers who insist they need entry to encryption keys to analysis terror assaults.

The court's ruling came out of a lawsuit filed by Roskomnadzor, a state communications watchdog. Regional "access to Telegram messenger" is to be shut down, and the "technical conditions for the exchange of messages" are no longer to be provided.

In response to Telegram's noncompliance, courts ordered a full and immediate block of the app. "Telegram will be more hard to shut as it's highly popular and offers users means to bypass blocking". Despite today's ban, Durov once again said that Telegram has no plans to turn over its keys to the Russian government.

"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. The trial took place without Telegram's defense team.

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