Russia Asks Apple To
Help It Enforce Ban On Telegram
May 29, 2018
communications regulator said it has asked U.S. cell phone giant Apple
to help it block the popular messaging service Telegram in Russia.
Roskomnadzor's press service on May 28 said the regulator sent a letter
to Apple asking it to block push notifications for Telegram users in
Russia, ensuring that Apple phone and tablet users do not receive alerts
about new messages and rendering the application less useful.
The regulator, which started enforcing a court ban on Telegram on April
16 after the company refused to give Russian security services access to
private conversations, also asked Apple to no longer make the free
Telegram app available for download in the country.
Also on May 28, Russian state news agency TASS reported that
Roskomnadzor is working with American technology giant Googleto
implement the ban against Telegram.
Roskomnadzor in its letter to Apple said the company should "inform us
as soon as possible about your company's further actions to resolve the
problematic issue" with Telegram, or face a "possible action by the
Russian news agency Interfax quoted Roskomnadzor's director Aleksandr
Zharov as saying that Apple has one month to reply to the regulator's
request. He declined to say what action Roskomnadzor might take if Apple
refuses to comply, but told Interfax that the company is legally bound
by the court ban on Telegram.
A Moscow court last month banned Telegram following a long-running
battle with authorities over access to its securely encrypted
communications. The ban has provoked repeated protests in Russia by
thousands who use and support the popular messaging service.
service was created by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, who has vowed
to reject any attempt by the country's security services to gain forced
access to messages.
Telegram lets people exchange messages, stickers, photos, and videos in
groups of up to 5,000 people. It has attracted more than 200 million
users since its launch by Durov and his brother Nikolai in 2013.
While Roskomnadzor moved to block Telegram after the court ruling, it
has acknowledged only limited success at disrupting and reducing
Telegram's operations by between 15 percent to 30 percent.
Zharov and other Russian officials have claimed the ban against Telegram
is justified because the service has been used in the planning of terror
attacks around the world.