Russia lifts ban on Telegram messaging app after failing to block it


  • World
  • Thursday, 18 Jun 2020

FILE PHOTO: The Telegram messaging app logo is seen on a website in Singapore November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Thursday lifted a ban on the Telegram messaging app that had failed to stop the widely-used programme operating despite being in force for more than two years.

Some Russian media cast the move as a capitulation, but communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said it had acted because the app's Russian founder, Pavel Durov, was prepared to cooperate in combating terrorism and extremism on the platform.

"Roskomnadzor is dropping its demands to restrict access to Telegram messenger in agreement with Russia's general prosecutor's office," it said in a statement.

Durov has been at odds with Russia's authorities over user privacy issues, with Roskomnadzor demanding that Telegram hand over certain information for it to be included on a government list of information distributors.

Roskomnadzor moved to ban the app in April 2018, but despite blocking IP addresses, it was unable to carry out its threat, with Telegram continuing to thrive in Russia, where it is a leading service for news channels.

Despite the ban on using the app, government departments such as the Russian Foreign Ministry and national coronavirus task-force have official channels on Telegram.

The Kremlin took note of Roskomnadzor's decision and the reasoning for it, the TASS news agency reported, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

There was no immediate reaction from Telegram or Durov.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

100% readers found this article insightful

Next In World

Russia reports record 569 coronavirus deaths, 26,402 new infections
Chinese embassy says Australia 'misread' offending social media post
Australian telescope maps deep space at record speed
Global CCS capacity grew by a third, but much more needed - report
Biden to introduce top economic advisers as pandemic threat worsens
Jakarta governor contracts COVID-19 as Indonesia infections spike
Seniors turn to gaming to stay in touch with grandkids
Indian government invites protesting farmers for talks on Tuesday
COVID-19 drives 40% spike in number of people needing humanitarian aid, U.N. says
India reports over 31,000 new COVID-19 cases, lowest since November 17

Stories You'll Enjoy