After being ordered to turn over its encryption keys to the Russian communications regulator and refusing, messaging app Telegram has been blocked in the country.
In 2017, Telegram, the well-known encrypted messaging app was ordered by the Russian communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, to provide the keys to its users’ encrypted conversations. Founded by a Russian – Pavel Durov – but operated from outside the country, Telegram refused to do so. As a result, on Friday, a court in Moscow ruled that Telegram should be blocked in Russia, immediately.
The twist in this story, is the fact that Telegram couldn’t even hand over encryption keys, even if it wanted to. Just like on WhatsApp – another end-to-end encrypted messaging app – the keys are on the devices of the users themselves. Telegram promptly asked for court hearings to be delayed and according to reports Durov himself asked for the company’s lawyers not to even show up in the court.
The result, is that Telegram has now been blocked, and it now has one month to appeal the decision. According to reports, Telegram plans to do so. Now, it has also been reported that Russia’s state telecommunications regulator has announced that is has asked both Google and Apple to remove Telegram messenger service from their app stores.