Russia Demands Apple Remove Telegram From Russian App Store

The Russian government has asked Apple to help it block Telegram, the secure messaging app that's highly popular in the country, reports WCCFTech.

A Russian court in April ordered carriers and internet providers in the country to block Telegram back in April, after Telegram refused to provide Russia with backdoor access to user messages.


Telegram, for those unfamiliar with the app, offers end-to-end encryption for secure messaging purposes. With end-to-end encryption, no one, not even Telegram, can access the messages that are sent between users.

Despite issuing the block order back in April, Russia has only been able to disrupt Telegram's operations in the country by 15 to 30 percent.

Given the government's inability to block the app, Roskomnadzor, the division of the government that controls media and telecommunications, has demanded that Apple remove the Telegram app from the Russian App Store. The group first asked Apple to remove the app in April, but is appealing to Apple again.

"In order to avoid possible action by Roskomnadzor for violations of the functioning of the above-mentioned Apple Inc. service, we ask you to inform us as soon as possible about your company's further actions to resolve the problematic issue," the regulator wrote.

Roskomnadzor has given Apple one month to remove the Telegram app from the App Store. Roskomnadzor's director Alexander Zharov said he did not want to "forecast further actions" should Apple not comply with the request following the 30 day period.

The Russian government said that it needed access to Telegram to read messages and prevent future terror attacks in the country.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


Discuss this article in our forums

Russia Bans Access to Telegram Encrypted Messenger Service

A Russian law court has ordered that access to the Telegram encrypted messaging service should be blocked, according to Russian news agencies on Friday (via Reuters).

The development follows last week's news that Russia's media regulator had filed legal proceedings to block the app in the country because the company refused to enable state security services to access users' messages.

The Telegram platform allows people to communicate with each other using end-to-end encryption, meaning no-one – not even Telegram – has access to messages sent between users.

The app has over 200 million users globally. They include Kremlin staff, who use Telegram to coordinate conference calls with Vladimir Putin's spokesman. Many government officials also use the messenger app to communicate with media, according to Reuters.
When Reuters asked a person in the Russian government on how they would operate without access to Telegram, the person, who asked not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue, replied by sending a screenshot of his mobile phone with an open VPN app.
Telegram becomes the second global network after LinkedIn to be blocked in Russia. In 2016, a court found LinkedIn guilty of violating a law that requires companies holding Russian citizens' data to store it on servers within Russia.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


Discuss this article in our forums

Russia Moves to Ban Telegram Encrypted Messaging Platform

Russia appears to be following through on its threat last year to block access to the Telegram encrypted messaging platform.

The BBC reports today that the Roskomnadzor media regulator has begun legal proceedings to block the app in the country, after Dubai-based Telegram refused to comply with requests that it hand over the encryption keys.

Telegram was given a deadline of 4 April to hand over the keys, but the company has refused, explaining that the way the service is built means it has no access to them.
Russia's main security agency, the FSB, wants the keys so it can read messages and prevent future terror attacks in the country. In its court filing, Roskomnadzor said the legal action was related to the FSB request and Telegram's non-compliance with its legal requirements as a "distributor of information".
Telegram's lawyer, Pavel Chikov, called the Russian attempt to block the app "groundless" and said the FSB's demand to access users' chat logs was "unconstitutional, baseless, which cannot be fulfilled technically and legally".

Telegram had a legal challenge to the demand dismissed in a Moscow court in March, but the platform creator Pavel Durov has said Telegram, which is widely used in Russia, will not "give up" the private data of its users.



Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


Discuss this article in our forums