Russian Federation begins blocking access to Telegram

Борьбу Роскомнадзора с Telegram высмеяли в меткой карикатуре

Telegram founder Pavel Durov said Tuesday that he has been paying network administrators in bitcoin to bypass a government ban on his popular messaging platform.

Internet censors at Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecommunications watchdog, have blocked at least 16 million IP addresses as they tried to implement a court order issued last Friday to ban Telegram. Telegram uses both Google and Amazon's services to provide its service to users. "But the Russians were just getting started... a further 1,048,574 IP addresses belonging to Google were also targeted Monday".

Roskomnadzor had previously asked a Russian court to block the service for failing to comply with Russian regulations.

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.

Durov has suggested Telegram users will find ways around a ban.

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Some Russian Telegram users, including members of government agencies, are skirting the ban by using VPNs. In addition, it demanded that Google and Apple suspend the Telegram app from their app stores in Russian Federation.

The network continues to ridicule the attempts of Roskomnadzor to block the work of popular Telegram messenger on the territory of Russian Federation, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the Apostrophe. Telegram has always been criticised for providing a messaging service that became known as the "app of choice" for drug traffickers and terrorists, in particular from ISIL. The number of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that have been blocked in Russian Federation since the move has ballooned to 17 million by mid-Tuesday, from 2 million earlier in the day.

Internet businesses in Russian Federation were also hit inadvertently by Roskomnadzor's move.

Russia's media regulator has blocked more than 4 million IP addresses after a court approved its request to shut the app down. Russia's Federal Security Service is claiming that Telegram is violating its legal obligations as an "organiser of information distribution".

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