Sci-tech

Russia Blocks Telegram, Sloppy IP Ban Causes Collateral Damage

Russia Blocks Telegram, Sloppy IP Ban Causes Collateral Damage

Russia's telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor has blocked ranges of Internet Protocol addresses belonging to Amazon and Google in an effort to ban Telegram. Telegram explained that it was impossible for them to comply because the key to each specific chat is stored on users' devices.

The Roskomnadzor head, Aleksandr Zharov, told the independent Russian business outlet the Bell: "Telegram's degradation is now at 30%".

According to the Interfax news agency (via Reuters) the Russian telecoms agency has informed Amazon and Google that a "significant" number of their IP addresses are being blocked on the basis of the court ruling to block Telegram. It supports encrypted communication between parties, which makes it hard or impossible for government agencies to listen in.

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A Russian court ordered messaging service Telegram to be blocked.

Former employee of the US National Security Agency Edward Snowden described the requirement to provide the FSB with the keys to decrypt messages of Telegram users as a "totalitarian demand".

Once again, Telegram was given the opportunity to hand over the keys to the kingdom, but it refused. "We also have been relying on third-party cloud services to remain partly available for the rest of our users", he wrote. On Feb. 1, 2018, Durov took to Twitter again to reveal that Telegram was back in the App Store. The company operates upon the foundation of believing that humans are benevolent beings and deserve to be trusted.

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Now, Telegram is officially banned in Russian Federation, and it looks like the government is doing what it can to enforce that ban. The company argues that Russia's FSB intelligence service is violating consumer rights. And according to multiple sources within Russia, ISPs there are now blocking large chunks of IP addresses associated with cloud services from Amazon and Google.

Russian Federation a year ago also passed legislation forcing VPNs to block sites blocked by the government.

Several other Russian companies have become collateral damage, with users reporting outages for the social network Odnoklassniki, the Viber messenger app, an online English language school, a courier service and others.

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While Durov could have appealed against the blocking decision but the Russian authorities did not wait until a response was made by the messaging service.