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Telegram isn’t complying with Russia so the country is blocking them out

Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed.

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Image: Getty

Russia and Telegram have been going at it for the past couple of months, and now it’s getting ugly. The gist of it is that Russia’s telecommunications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, wants the company to hand over its encryption keys to access user data. Telegram is refusing to comply, and now a Russian court ruled in favor of blocking the app in the country.

According to Tass, a Russian news agency, the messaging service will be “blocked immediately.” The ruling states that the ban will be in place until Telegram provides decryption keys to the FSB. At this point, it’s not really clear when the ban will actually take place. The Financial Times reports that it could take at least a month if Telegram goes through the whole appeal process.

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov recently responded to the court ruling with a message uploaded to his company’s service:

The power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money. At any given moment, a government can crash their stocks by threatening to block revenue streams from its markets and thus force these companies to do strange things (remember how last year Apple moved iCloud servers to China).

At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales. Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed.

It’s not too very often you hear a CEO of a major tech company touting the virtues of keeping data and privacy safe, but it seems like Durov is sticking to his guns. As for Russia, I’m sure they’re not backing down either.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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