Telegram App Banned in Russian Federation

The ruling follows months of battles between Telegram and federal telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor.

A Moscow court has ordered that chat app Telegram, which has raised $1.7 billion in its pre-initial coin offering, be blocked by Russia's telecommunication companies.

As expected, messaging app Telegram has been formally blocked in Russian Federation after its owner refused to hand the authorities encryption keys to help with investigations.

He also said that regardless of blocking, Telegram will retain the ability to send notices to all Russian users, informing them about the development of the situation.

The agency's lawyers also told reporters that access to Telegram in Russian Federation would be restored after the company fulfills the order to hand over the encryption keys.

In a social media post on Russia's VKontakte, Durov said Telegram will use "built-in methods" to try and circumvent the government attempts to block the app. The decision harms Russia's national security as users will switch to "US-controlled' Facebook Inc and WhatsApp services".

"There is a certain legislation that demands certain data to be passed to certain services of the Russian Federation", Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitri S. Peskov, said, adding that his office would resort to an alternative app the moment Telegram ceased working. According to Russia's FSB Federal Security service, they claim that they need these keys in order to intercept messages that will help them prevent or safeguard against terrorist attacks.

The company was given 15 days until early April to comply but ultimately it refused to provide the FSB with the encryption keys.

"Telegram is a national achievement that Russia should be proud of", Russian journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov wrote Monday in a blog for Echo Moskvy radio.

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