Russian Court Bans Telegram Application Later Hearing

A view of the Telegram messaging app

A view of the Telegram messaging app

This decision does not come out of the blue since the Russian authorities asked for the keys needed to decrypt the users' messages sent via Telegram on more than just one occasion.

A Russian court on Friday ruled to block a popular messaging app, Telegram, after it rejected to share its encryption data with state security services.

The FSB has claimed that global terrorist groups actively use Telegram's secret chats with high levels of encryption. The FSB says telegram was also used by a suicide bomber who a year ago killed 15 people on a subway in St. Petersburg.

A Russian court on Friday ordered that access to the Telegram messenger service should be blocked in Russia, Russian news agencies reported, heralding communication disruption for scores of users - including government officials.

The court gave it 15 days to hand over the encryption keys.

Launched in 2013, Telegram is now among the world's most popular mobile messaging apps. According to a blog post attributed to Telegram founder Pavel Durov, the app has built-in workarounds for such bans.

Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov
Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov

Another Telegram lawyer, Dmitry Kolbasin, said after the ruling that the legal team would obtain "today's court decision, to study it and certainly, the lawyers plan to appeal it".

But Russia's FSB Federal Security service has said it needs access to some of those messages for its work that includes guarding against terrorist attacks.

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 company has a reputation for providing users with securely encrypted communication.

"My work is to fulfill this irreproachably in technical terms".

Well known for its secret chat functionality, Telegram couldn't have complied with the FSB's repeated requests without compromising its business model and entire approach to protecting privacy.

The feud between the Russian government and the house that Durov built is apparently going strong. The Russian Foriegn Ministry, for example, told readers on Telegram that they would be switching their Telegram service to Viber.

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