Russian Federation orders immediate block of Telegram messaging app

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The Roskomnadzor communications watchdog on Monday ordered internet and mobile phone operators to block access to Telegram within 24 hours.

Smolina said that Telegram should be blocked immediately despite rules under which Russian court decisions normally come into effect after appeals are exhausted. Because it's recognized as an information provider in Russia, Telegram has to give access for the security service to read communications of suspected terrorists. The ban extends to the Telegram messenger, the Telegram app for smartphones, and Telegram's web client.

"How long may the blocking process take?"

As well as being popular with journalists and members of Russia's political opposition, Telegram is also used by the Kremlin to communicate with reporters and arrange regular conference calls with President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.

On Friday, Moscow's Tagansky court blocked access to the cloud-based instant messaging service, Telegram, in Russian Federation over its failure to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service, the FSB.

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Telegram was unavailable to users on Monday for a short time but was back online later in the day.

Telegram representatives insist that handing over of the encryption keys is technically impossible.

The judge further observed that the court's verdict ought to be implemented instantly.

Roskomnadzor said in a statement on April 16 that it had notified Internet providers that they must "restrict access" to Telegram as a result of the April 13 ruling. The app's founder Pavel Durov has repeatedly claimed that the firm will now relinquish its encryption keys to the authorities.

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