The Eastern equivalent of WhatsApp, Telegram, has been banned by the Russian government after the app’s owners refused to grant the Kremlin access to its encrypted-messages technology. Russia’s security agency, the FSB, had insisted it only wants access to the encryption keys so it can read messages in an effort to prevent future terror attacks in the country. In its court filing, Russia media regulator Roskomnadzor said Telegram had failed to comply with its legal requirements as a “distributor of information.” Telegram’s lawyer, Pavel Chikov, said the attempt to stop the app being used in Russia was “groundless,” adding: “The FSB’s requirements to provide access to private conversations of users are unconstitutional, baseless, which cannot be fulfilled technically and legally.” Telegram is widely used in Russia and the Middle East and claims to have more than 200 million active users.
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