Economy

Russia Begins Blocking Telegram App

Russia Begins Blocking Telegram App”

According to the New York Times, there was no immediate comment from the founder of Telegram Pavel Durov, who also came up with the Russian social network Vkontakte and had fled the country in 2014, after he lost control of Vkontakte.

Telegram had missed a deadline of 4 April to hand over the keys.

The FSB has claimed that worldwide terrorist groups actively use Telegram's secret chats with high levels of encryption.

Amnesty International said in April 12 that blocking Telegram, which has been used by senior government officials as well as Kremlin critics, would be "the latest in a series of attacks on online freedom of expression" in Russian Federation.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

Telegram's lawyer, Pavel Chikov, said the official attempt to stop the app being used in Russian Federation was "groundless".

"The FSB's requirements to provide access to private conversations of users are unconstitutional, baseless, which can not be fulfilled technically and legally", he said.

Nevertheless, Russian authorities have been pushing Telegram to change its data policies and store user information on local servers that authorities can access. Telegram said this demand was impossible to comply with technically, since the keys are stored on user devices.

Telegram is widely used in countries across the former Soviet Union and Middle East.

The popular app is used by many around the world to communicate without the fear of being monitored by repressive governments.

It allows groups of up to 5,000 people to send messages, documents, videos and pictures without charge and with complete encryption.



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