Russia Bans Telegram After Encryption Dispute

Court orders to block Telegram- immediately

The court satisfied state media regulator Roskomnadzor's request to "immediately" ban Telegram after the ruling despite the company's legal right to delay enforcement through an appeal.

The company claims it doesn't have those keys because it uses end-to-end encryption, where users - not Telegram - have the keys to their own secret messages. The St Petersberg suicide bomber allegedly used the service to communicate with his accomplices. "Governments do not have a right to demand indiscriminate access to individuals' private communications, and to punish Telegram for protecting their users' data also shows a shocking disregard for the extent to which many Russians rely on Telegram to communicate".

Telegram has also frequently hit the headlines over its use by terrorists, although that is more to do with its unencrypted "channels" feature, through which people can broadcast their opinions to followers.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, later declaring his everyday conference telephone Telegram, 1st dropped to comment and subsequently said that the company should stick to the law.

"The issue of resuming access to Telegram's information resources will be considered if Telegram provides to the FSB information needed for decrypting user messages", Roskomnadzor said.

Telegram had missed a deadline of 4 April to hand over the keys. Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov wouldn't tell TASS when or how Russian Federation would block Telegram, only that it would be soon.

But it remains to be seen whether the company will agree to any concessions to get the Russian block removed. Regional "access to Telegram messenger" is to be shut down, and the "technical conditions for the exchange of messages" are no longer to be provided.

Telegram said this demands would be impossible to implement since the keys were stored in the users' devices.

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.

It's not clear exactly when the ban will go into place, but it is likely to be very soon.

At the end of March 2018, Telegram announced a record 200 mln active users for the preceding month.