The state telecom regulator of Russia has stated that it has initiated the process to block access to Telegram messenger. Sources indicated that the company has failed to comply to an order issued by the government to give access to its users’ secret messages.
In a statement issued by Roskomnadzor, the watchdog has stated that it has sent notification to telecom operators about blocking access to Telegram inside Russia.
Telegram is the ninth most popular messaging app in the world. Started by a Russian entrepreneur, the app has more than 200 million global users.
An official from Roskomnadzor has indicated that this process will take several hours to materialize and complete blocking access. However, what was surprising was that the app was working fine till Monday mid-afternoon, particularly in Moscow. But the website has been blocked by two of the biggest Russian service providers, MTS and Megafon.
However, neither MTS nor Megafon were available to comment.
Roskomnadzor was following the order of a Russian court, which ruled that Telegram ought to be blocked because it was violating Russian regulations. Telegram has consistently refused to adhere to requests to give Russia’s Federal Security Service access to its users’ encrypted messages.
Commenting on this development, Founder and CEO Pavel Durov stated that the ban would definitely have an impact on the quality of lives of 15 million Russians, but it won’t improve Russia’s security.
Durov said, “We consider the ban decision anti-constitutional and will continue to defend the right to secret correspondence for Russians.”