Since 2017, Russian authorities have continually threatened to ban Telegram from the country over the developers’ repeated refusal to grant them access to user data. It appears now that the promise is coming true because a Moscow court has officially issued a ban on the secure messaging application.
This all started when KGB successor Federal Security Service (FSB) demanded access to Telegram’s decryption keys last year. FSB demanded those keys because it wanted to read user messages as part of its anti-terror measures. Telegram repeatedly refused to provide the decryption keys.
FSB’s emphasis on getting access is because Telegram HS a terrorist problem due to the emphasis it places on user privacy. The company has been blocking SIS channels for many years now, but new channels continue to pop up. It’s not just that because it’s also due to how much Telegram values security and privacy that its founder, Pavel Durov, would not budge on the matter at all, despite being pushed hard by the agency.
Ultimately, Telegram agreed to register with the Russian government as an information distributor that officially operates within the country, but despite that, founder Durov has continuously refused to comply with any request that cam compromise user data. Because of this, Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor requested the court to ban the app outright.
Russian news agency Tass reports that the ban will go into effect immediately. Though, Financial Times says the ban will likely go into effect after Telegram has exhausted all its appeals next month. It’s also worth mentioning that Roskomnadzor can only order ISPs to block Russian users’ access to the application, should Telegram continue to lose in court.