Court Rules to Block Access to Telegram Messaging Service in Russian Federation

Pavel Durov's September 2017 post on Telegram explains why he can't visit Iran and Russia. Source Telegram

Pavel Durov's September 2017 post on Telegram explains why he can't visit Iran and Russia. Source Telegram

The watchdog's press service reported on Monday that the operators had been sent information on curbing access to Telegram's resources.

The actions of the leadership of the company managing the Telegram messenger pose threat to Russia's interests and security of its citizens, Maria Smelyanskaya, a representative of Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, said during the hearing on the messenger blocking on Friday.

Russian Federation implemented strict anti-terrorism laws in 2016, which required messaging services to provide authorities with the ability to decrypt messages. That was when the web version of the messenger was added to the prohibited websites list.

"The FSB's requirements to provide access to private conversations of users are unconstitutional, baseless, which can not be fulfilled technically and legally", he said. But Telegram said to comply would violate users' privacy.

The court order comes as Telegram refuses to provide law enforcement and intelligence operations with a key to read the encrypted messages on the service.

Roskomnadzor claimed that Telegram had not been entirely honest in its statements, as some unnamed experts said that it is still possible to give the security services some keys allowing secret messages to be decoded.

According to the New York Times, there was no immediate comment from the founder of Telegram Pavel Durov, who also came up with the Russian social network Vkontakte and had fled the country in 2014, after he lost control of Vkontakte.