INTRO: The country Russia has now lifted a 2-year ban on the popular encrypted messaging app, that is Telegram. In an official statement, the Russian communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said that: “As it is agreed with the Prosecutor General’s office, Roskomnadzor withdraws all the demand to restrict access to the Telegram messenger in the country”.
The agency is now lifting the ban because the app’s founder, Pavel Durov, as if followed by the reports has decided to work with the government. Apparently, he has also promised that the app will be reworked to help the government in “combating terrorism and extremism”. Durov also has been living in exile over the past two years after his fallout with the Russian government due to the telegram app. Currently, there’s no official statement yet from Durov on this subject.
The social media messaging app Telegram was blocked by the Russian Government in a year back in 2018 by following a court order for allegedly not complying with the demands of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). The dispute was Telegram’s end-to-end encryption that prevented Russian intelligence agencies from snooping on private users for the security subject.
Officially, the government also claimed that the ban was necessitated because the app was being used by terrorists also. Apparently, ISI and other extremist groups were exploiting the anonymity which was offered by E2EE technology by the application. The court also ruled in the government’s favor, which was confirming that Telegram will be blocked in Russia until the company is ready to share the encryption keys with the government.
While the ban officially remained in place for two years, the app continued to be used widely across the country. According to reports, even top-tier officials, such as Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, were noticed using the app during this period. Not only that, even coronavirus task force operations in many of the Russian regions according to the reports were using the app for daily updates.