New East Digital Archive

Could Telegram be blocked in Russia?

Could Telegram be blocked in Russia?
(Image: Yuri Samoilov under a CC licence)

17 May 2017

Telegram could be under threat in Russia, after the popular messaging app refused to hand over data to Russian authorities.

“No other government or special service in the world has ever received a single bit of data from us,” the company said in a statement yesterday, “That will always be the case.”

This defiant statement comes after reports on Monday that Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor had requested information from Telegram, to be registered in a government-controlled national database.

Under Russian law, any service that refuses to comply with such government orders is liable to be blacklisted. Telegram would be far from the first messaging app to fall foul of orders to provide company data — this month has already seen BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), VChat, LINE and blocked for failing to hand over information. Chinese messenger WeChat was also briefly banned, but had its restriction removed on 11 May after providing the requisite data.

The administrators of Telegram in Russia and users of the app have appealed to Russian entrepreneur and Telegram founder Pavel Durov with a petition, asking him not to allow the blocking of the service in Russia.

Source: The Moscow Times