Russian watchdog goes nuclear in attempts to enforce Telegram ban

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In 2016, the powerful agency teamed up with the Kremlin to push through a new terrorism law that grants security officials sweeping backdoor access to encrypted apps like Telegram.

Following the refusal by Telegram to provide the keys to its encrypted message services, the Tangansky court in Moscow on Friday 13 of April moved to ban the messenger app from operating in Russian Federation.

In his response to the block, founder Pavel Durov in a blog post on Monday wrote per Bloomberg: "We see the decision to block it as anti-constitutional and will continue to defend Russians' right to private messaging".

The other day it was announced that messaging app Telegram would be banned in Russian Federation.

Earlier, on April 17, Roskomnadzor announced that the agency would battle with services that allow users to bypass the Telegram blocking.

Despite court orders, Telegram CEO refused to hand over encryption keys of two hundred million global users.

Roskomnadzor began implementing the court decision on April 16 by notifying Internet providers that they must "restrict access" to Telegram.

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Over 1.8 million Amazon and Google-owned IPs have been blocked so far.

However, as reported by Bleeping Computer, this sweeping IP ban has blocked many legitimate web services, with users taking to Twitter to complain that a number of online games, mobile apps, and cryptocurrency services have since gone dark.

Durov was a pioneer of social media in Russian Federation but left the country in 2014.

Among those impacted was Viber, another popular messaging app, that said on April 16 that some users in Russian Federation were experiencing problems using the app to make calls.

Telegram has attracted more than 200 million users worldwide since it was launched in 2013.

In 2017, Telegram and Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor seemingly found a common ground created to see the former continue to offer its services unhindered.

The massive blocking of addresses led to problems in the work of Viber messenger, and the inclusion of additional addresses in the group of the blocked ones will most likely affect the operation of other sites and services.