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Russia's Telegram block hits web users

From BBC - April 17, 2018

Russian web users are reporting problems accessing online services as a result of the authorities' bid to block the Telegram messaging app.

Russia's media regulator has blocked more than 4 million IP addresses after a court approved its request to shut the app down.

Telegram is reportedly using the addresses to get around the block.

Retailers, online games and another message service - Viber - are also said to have been affected.

Media regulator Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov said on Tuesday that his agency informed Google and Amazon that it had blocked IP addresses on the companies' cloud services in an effort to implement the ban on Telegram.

A Moscow court on Friday ordered the block at Roskomnadzor's request after the app refused to hand over encryption keys used to scramble messages.

Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, claims the app can be used by terrorists.

'Unconstitutional'

Telegram says the way the app is made means the service itself does not have access to the encryption keys.

In a statement on Monday, Telegram founder Pavel Durov said the block was unconstitutional, as it infringed Russians' right to privacy of correspondence, and vowed to help users continue using the service.

Roskomnadzor started implementing the court's decision on Monday by ordering internet service providers to block Telegram.

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