Popular messaging app Telegram has been banned in Russian Federation

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As part of its services, Telegram allows its more than 200 million global users, including senior Russian government officials, to communicate via encrypted messages which can not be read by third parties.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that a block on Telegram would be very regrettable, but that Kremlin officials who use the app would find alternatives if the service was banned.

The ban will not be removed until Telegram hands over the decryption keys to the FSB, reported TASS, a Russian state-sponsored news agency.

The decision came into force immediately and Telegram is expected to be blocked today. At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales.

Over the past few years, the Putin administration has been trying to monitor electronic communications in a bid to fight terrorism and in 2016, it implemented a new law calling on firms to decrypt user data.

Allaying the fears of Telegram and its users, the FSB said obtaining the encryption keys does not violate users' privacy because the keys themselves are not regarded as information of restricted access. "Well, soon. I won't say when I will attack", said Zharov answering a question on when the watchdog would start restricting access to Telegram.

One of the fastest growing social networks and messaging apps in the world, Telegram, has been hit with a ban from Russian authorities.

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As presented by TechCrunch , a small lock icon appears in the compose window for an email which represents "Confidential Mode". Google's Gmail is one of the most popular email services worldwide.

Telegram was still available late Friday afternoon in Russian Federation, several hours after the court ruling.

At the end of March 2018, Telegram announced a record 200 mln active users for the preceding month.

Pavel Chikov, a lawyer representing Telegram, said the court decision is an example of how hard is it for a global technology firm to operate in Russian Federation.

"Telegram's lawyer, Pavel Chikov, warned, "[Russia has] demonstrated again and again that the court system is devoted to serving the interests of the authorities. Around 10 mln of Telegram's users are in Russian Federation and thus will be affected by the ban.

An amusing wrinkle: The Kremlin itself reportedly uses Telegram to communicate with journalists.

".the requirements of the FSB to provide access to private correspondence of users are unconstitutional, not based on law, technically and legally unworkable, therefore, the requirement of blocking is also unreasonable."

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