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Messaging app 'used by terrorists' set to be banned by Russian Federation

Messaging app 'used by terrorists' set to be banned by Russian Federation”

"During the investigation into the terrorist attack of April 3 in St. Petersburg's metro, [the Federal Security Service] received reliable information that the suicide bomber, his allies and his foreign curator used the Telegram messenger to hide their criminal plot during all the stages of preparation for the terrorist attack", said the counterterrorism agency, which was once headed by Putin.

Russia's FSB security agency today said the Telegram messaging service was used by those behind the Saint Petersburg metro bombing, the latest salvo by authorities after they threatened to block the app.

A popular encrypted messaging app is on the brink of being banned in Russian Federation amid accusations that it helps terrorists to plot atrocities.

Telegram is a free Russian-designed messaging app that lets people exchange messages, photos and videos in groups of up to 5,000.

Separately, Durov rejected calls from Roskomnadzor to share a backdoor, or "keys", to the encrypted messages sent through Telegram, saying that they do not exist.

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It follows concern expressed by United Kingdom and European experts over a platform that has been dubbed the communications tool of choice for Islamic State. He described the relationship between Russian Federation and Telegram as neutral relations.

IS used the app to declare its involvement in the jihadist attack on and around London Bridge in the United Kingdom last month.

"There is one demand, and it is simple: to fill in a form with information on the company that controls Telegram", Alexander Zharov said, head of communications regulator Roskomnadzor. These new laws want all foreign companies operating in Russia to store the personal data of Russian citizens dating to past six months, as well as encryption keys within the country. In case Telegram does not provide this data in due time, the messenger will be blocked in Russian Federation until the information is provided.

Russian Federation is threatening to ban the Telegram after its founder refused to co-operate with the country's security services.

The 32-year-old had previously created Russia's popular VKontakte social media site, before founding Telegram in the United States.

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