Russian security services ordered Telegram to hand over access to encrypted user messages, but the messaging application (app) refused. According to Russian news agency TASS, Reuters, The New York Times and others, a Russian court gave the state communications agency Roskomnadzor the immediate authority to ban Telegram on Friday.
Earlier the Supreme Court of Russian Federation rejected the lawsuit of the leadership of Telegram with the demand to recognize the order of the FSB that establishes the procedure of the providing of the keys for the decoding of the electronic messages of the users to the department as void.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, whose team uses Telegram to arrange briefings for reporters, said on Friday that it is not the Kremlin's place to comment on court rulings.
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The Telegram app is exceptionally popular in Russian Federation, used not only by everyday people but also government agencies.
Telegram is one of the fastest growing social messaging platforms in the world and it recently surpassed 200 million monthly active users.
Telegram Chief Executive Pavel Durov has repeatedly condemned Russia's efforts to compromise the app's security and privacy features, and he said last month that the court's threats "won't bear fruit". At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales. Regional "access to Telegram messenger" is to be shut down, and the "technical conditions for the exchange of messages" are no longer to be provided. So popular is the app in Russian Federation that some highly placed government officials including the press officer to President Vladimir V. Putin is reported to be among its users. The company filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against the fine, lawyer Damir Gainutdinov told RAPSI on March 22. Last summer the Indonesian government also used blocks to wring content-related concessions out of Telegram.