In the recent weeks, Telegram, one of the biggest social messaging apps has been under fire in Russia because of its end-to-end encryption which is in violation of Russian law. The Russian government is under law allowed to spy on their citizens – read their messages, listen to their calls, monitor their movements and so on.
Telegram refusal to release it’s encryption keys which makes messages sent on the platform readable led to it being banned.
The order for ban of the messaging app was approved by a Russian court on April 13th as reported by Reuters. According to the judge,
“the court decided to meet the requirements of Roskomnadzor, impose restrictions on access to Telegram messenger and stop providing technical conditions for the exchange of messages.”
The ban can be easily bypassed with the aid of a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Russian citizens just have to sign up for a VPN, change their virtual location to a place in another country, and it will be business as usual. Although, these might be difficult to do in Russia in which some of the VPN services might not be available, but Android Authority was able to come up with other options.
Paul Durov, CEO and founder of Telegram said Russian users will still be able to access the app with the help of a ‘built-in systems” without having to use a third-party VPN but it’s not 100% guaranteed. Eventually, VPN will still have to be used. The exact date when the ban will start taking effect is still unknown but Telegram has already been added to the list of banned websites.
The Kremlin issued a statement through its spokesman stating that, “Limiting access was not the goal in and of itself. There is the legal position, which requires the provision of data to certain Russian state bodies. Meetings this condition would have allowed for a consensus. But unfortunately, this consensus was not reached.”
Telegram is built and known for its message encryption features. If that feature is removed, it’s going to be like every other social messaging apps, losing its values and popularity.