Russia lifts ban on messaging platform Telegram

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 19, 2020 Published on June 19, 2020

Russia has lifted its ban on the messaging app Telegram following the company’s agreement to provide support in the country’s counter-terrorism efforts as per reports.

The country has lifted its nearly two-year ban on the platform upon inputs from its telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor that has said that Telegram’s Russian founder, Pavel Durov has shown willingness to cooperate in efforts combating terrorism, Reuters reported.

“Roskomnadzor is dropping its demands to restrict access to Telegram messenger in agreement with Russia’s general prosecutor’s office,” the agency said in a statement.

The app had been banned in 2018 after Roskomnadzor had failed to block the app despite blocking its IP address.

Durov has been at odds with Russian authorities over user privacy issues after the company’s refusal to provide access to its encryption keys to authorities as per reports.

Telegram has previously had a history of being used by terrorist organizations for spreading propaganda, the report said. However, the platform had refused to provide access to encryption keys owing to privacy concerns.

Durov had previously said that “privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed,” as quoted by The Verge.

Authorities had said that the move was against its anti-terrorism laws requiring messaging services to give authorities access to decrypt messages. Roskomnadzor had banned the app in April 2018, Reuters had reported.

Government departments including the Russian Foreign Ministry however still had official channels on the platform even after the ban, the report said.

Published on June 19, 2020
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