Russian begins blocking messaging app Telegram

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky). Activists bring a sack with about 2,000 paper airplanes symbolising the logo of the messaging app Telegram to the door of St. Petersburg's department of Roskomnadzor, the state communications oversight agency, to protest aga... (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky). Activists bring a sack with about 2,000 paper airplanes symbolising the logo of the messaging app Telegram to the door of St. Petersburg's department of Roskomnadzor, the state communications oversight agency, to protest aga...
(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko). The website of the Telegram messaging app is seen on a computer's screen in Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 13, 2018. A Russian court has ordered the blocking of a popular messaging app following a demand by authoriti... (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko). The website of the Telegram messaging app is seen on a computer's screen in Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 13, 2018. A Russian court has ordered the blocking of a popular messaging app following a demand by authoriti...

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's communications watchdog said Monday it has begun enforcing a nationwide ban for the popular messaging app Telegram.

Telecommunications providers have been instructed to block Telegram in Russia after a court last week sided with authorities who demanded that the app be kept of the country until it hands over the keys to its data encryption.

Russian authorities alleged that Telegram, which was developed by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, has been used by violent extremists. The company argues that Russia's FSB intelligence service is violating consumer rights.

Telegram was briefly unavailable to users early Monday afternoon, but was back online later in the day. Durov said last week the latest version would have "built-in" features that would be able to circumvent the ban.

"We consider the decision to block the app to be unconstitutional and we will continue," he said in a statement posted on social media Monday.

Privacy features have made Telegram the messaging app of choice for many Russian officials. The Kremlin has used it for arranging conference calls with reporters.

The Russian president's press office said Monday it would now be using a different app.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."