Telegram Messenger service has been down in Russia for over 24 hours following Telegram’s refusal to handing over the encrypted keys of users to government.
A Russian government agency said on Monday that it had sent a notice to telecommunications providers to block Telegram. The order came from the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media.
Last Friday, a Russian court ruled against the messaging service. The court said Telegram should be blocked until it obeys a government order to provide users’ encrypted messages to the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Russian agencies have been demanding the encryption keys to read users’ messages, in order to crack down on Extremist Groups. Self exiled Russian Telegram founder Pavel Durov has stood against the order and have called the order of ban ‘unconstitutional’.
Durov recently sent an update on his Telegram Channel. He explains that Russian users have been using VPNs and proxies to circumvent the ban and access Telegram messenger.
Russia currently accounts for ~7% of Telegram’s market which means it isn’t a significant loss for the company. However, Durov said
“It is important for me personally to make sure we do everything we can for our Russian Users”
Durov has long been vocal about supporting the internet freedom in Russia and the world.
He plans to support the companies in Russia who works on Socks5 Proxies and VPN services to create a Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally.
“To Support internet freedoms in Russia and elsewhere I started giving out bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run socks5 proxies and VPN. I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow” – Durov
Telegram is free cloud based instant messaging app that is widely used by people around the world due to its unique features like super groups, messaging channels and end to end encryption with self destruct mode on secret chats. The free application has attracted some 200 million users since its launch in 2013. Telegram highly secret ICO for its blockchain project Telegram Open Network has raised 1.6 Billion USD in private sales until now. Telegram is largely used by Cryptocurrency enthusiasts and companies to connect with the community.
Socket Secure (SOCKS) is an Internet protocol that exchanges network packets between a client and server through a proxy server. SOCKS5 additionally provides authentication so only authorized users may access a server. Practically, a SOCKS server proxies TCP connections to an arbitrary IP address, and provides a means for UDP packets to be forwarded.
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across the VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.