Russia Asks Apple to Remove Telegram From App Store

Russia Asks Apple to Remove Telegram From App Store

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov, who originally is Russian, says in a tweet private data will stay safe.

Russia's communications watchdog on Monday began blocking access to the popular messaging app Telegram after a court banned the service for refusing to give the security services access to private conversations.

A Roskomnadzor official said it would take several hours to complete the operation to block access, Interfax news agency said. According to him, both companies were notified of the blocking of addresses due to Telegram. More than 800,000 Amazon IP addresses were being blocked by early evening in Moscow, and a block of more than 1 million Google addresses (35.192.0.0/12) was added shortly afterward, according to a report from the Meduza Project.

Russian Federation has acted to curb internet freedoms as social media have become the main way to organise demonstrations.

As well as being popular with journalists and members of Russia's political opposition, Telegram is also used by the Kremlin to communicate with reporters and arrange regular conference calls with President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.




"We need to find a way to have an encrypted messaging service that is not encrypted by the United States or Russian Federation", a spokesperson told Reuters.

And that seems to have been a recurring theme.

Apple is known to comply with censorship requests as long as they follow a country's laws, for example pulling VPN apps from the Chinese App Store.

The Russian online flower-delivery site, Giveme.ru, said its site was blocked on April 16. "As a result, nearly six hours of service downtime", said Vladimir Kobzev, an engineer at Ptichka. But Telegram said compliance would violate users' privacy. Other countries to have blocked the app or its services includes Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bahrain. Protests over the blocking of Telegram continue in Russian Federation.

The move to ban IP blocks is a response to Telegram moving some of its infrastructure to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud servers over the weekend. The service was briefly disrupted in Russia, but by Monday evening Russian users reported a significant improvement.

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