Telegram Is Officially Forbidden in Russia

Published on 17 Apr. 2018
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The Russian court has officially banned a messenger app Telegram - two weeks after its ICO gathered almost two billion dollars during the two rounds of the private presale.

Julia Smolina, a judge of the Moscow Tagan court, made a pronouncement against the Telegram on Friday. A communication regulator Roscomnadzor received a request on allowing block the access to the program because of the company’s denial to comply with the local laws. 

The representatives of the Federal Security Service (FSS) have continually demanded that Telegram provided its encryption keys. That would have allowed FSS to review messages, kept in the encrypted users’ chats. FSS stated that it needed the access to the keys for the prevention of the terrorist attacks.   

Nevertheless, Telegram announced that the requirement was the attempt to violate the confidentiality of the users and refused to comply. That caused the Friday’s court decision.

In reply to the court decision, the founder of Telegram Pavel Durov stated that the company would try to overpass the ban using in-app methods to avoid blocking that could come into force any time. He said that the users might need VPN to ensure uninterrupted access to the app.

The power which the local governmental bodies have over the IT companies is based on money. The government can crash the price on their shares any time, threatening to block the incomes from their markets and this way make the companies do strange things (do you remember how Apple moved its iCloud servers to China last year?) In Telegram, we have the luxury not to worry about revenue streams or selling advertising. Confidentiality cannot be sold, and the people’s rights should not be compromised because of fear or greed,

 - Durov wrote on his public channel

The estimated number of Russian Telegram users is 200 million, out of general 9.5 million.

Recently, the company has finished the second round of the private ICO presale. We’ve reported that the company received 1.7 billion dollars for the creation of the Telegram Open Network (TON) – the blockchain of the ecosystem with its own cryptocurrency Gram. Now it is unclear whether the company is going to continue with the public ICO or close its offer after the presale.

Iran, where the Telegram is quite popular as well, also assumes the possible prohibition of the messenger. Explaining the censorship, the officials refer the shift of the Telegram to the economic platform that can negatively affect the national currency of Iran. 

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