Telegram chat app blocked in Russian Federation

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Russia's Tagansky court has announced that Telegram access in the country will be blocked due to a failure of Telegram to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service (FSB) that it could have used to decrypt user messages if the need had arisen.

"The court chose to meet the requirements of Roskomnadzor, impose restrictions on access to Telegram messenger and stop providing technical conditions for the exchange of messages", judge Yulia Smolina was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.

Allaying the fears of Telegram and its users, the FSB said obtaining the encryption keys does not violate users' privacy because the keys themselves are not regarded as information of restricted access.

This all started when KGB successor Federal Security Service (FSB) demanded access to Telegram's decryption keys past year. The access to Telegram will be denied and there won't be technical conditions for sending messages, reported the Russian news agency TASS.

But Russia's FSB Federal Security service has said it needs access to some of those messages for its work that includes guarding against terrorist attacks.

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The court filing by Roskomnadzor says Telegram had failed to abide by the rules and regulations as a "distributor of information".

The Telegram messaging app is extensively by Russian Federation authorities, and is very widespread all through the Middle East. Desktop users of Telegram can use the SOCKS5 protocol while mobile users can use proxy servers or virtual private networks.

Influential users include Margarita Simonyan, the head of the state-funded TV station Russia Today, and Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's press secretary, who schedules briefings using the service. However, Telegram refused to comply with the demands for reasons of user privacy. In an online statement Friday, Telegram founder Pavel Durov continued to resist Russia's demands, saying the government lacked the means to punish his company for its noncompliance. Providers will block the app starting from April 16. Many government officials also use the messaging platform to communicate with media.

Later Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram messenger responded to the ultimatum of Roskomnadzor to provide the keys within 15 days.

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