The Russian court has ordered to block access to Telegram – the encrypted messaging app, in the country which has come into force immediately. The company has been under pressure by the Russian authorities and wants them to hand over the encryption keys so that they can access the users messages. The authorities are saying that they need the data for counter-terrorism purposes however so far the company has refused to give up the encryption keys.
Last month Telegram lost a case before the Supreme Court to block authorities from getting access to users data. The court gave the company 15 days to hand over the encryption keys but the founder of Telegram Pavel Durov wrote:
“Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed.”
Durov has lived in exile since 2014 after claiming he was being forced to hand over control of his social networking company and also refusing to give up user data to the authorities. In a blog post Durov said:
“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.”
The company has faced several blocks in Iran and last year the Indonesian government also tried to block Telegram but Durovs response suggests that he will not back down from the encryption.
Telegrams lawyer, Pavel Chikov, has also described the move by the Russian authorities as “unconstitutional” — and claimed it “cannot be fulfilled technically and legally”.
The platform has announced that it has more than 200 Million monthly active users globally. Telegram doesn’t require payment because the founder is in the middle of rising Billion Dollar ICO via Token Sale to develop cryptocurrency and blockchain platform.
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