RUSSIA (OBSERVATORY) – Providers began to implement the decision to block services to the messenger. Access is restricted to the Internet version, the web client and the Telegram application.
At the time of writing, access to the web version of the messenger is still stored, as well as to the application for mobile devices. In AppStore and GooglePlay stores, the ability to download the application is saved. Access to the official website of Telegram is not.
On April 13 the court in Moscow decided to block the Telegram messenger on the territory of Russia, on the same day the web version of the service was included in the unified register of prohibited websites of Roskomnadzor.
“Information on these Internet resources (Telegram sites) on Monday, April 16, is directed to telecom operators with the goal of restricting access,” the Roskomnadzor report published on the website said.
It specifies that the Roskomnadzor received a decision of the Tagansky District Court on restricting access to the Internet resources of the messenger on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Operators of communication and Internet providers should completely limit access to Telegram in the Russian Federation within 24 hours from the date of making Telegram into the database of prohibited resources. Telegram is currently working with strong interruptions.
Head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov told Interfax that the process of blocking the messenger may take several hours. According to him, Roskomnadzor on Monday will send inquiries to online stores App Store and Google Play with the requirement to remove the application Telegram.
The blocking of Telegram was reacted by international structures, accusing the Russian authorities of another attempt at Internet censorship. The OSCE called on the Russian Federation to stop blocking the messenger, noting that in recent years, Telegram has become an important channel for disseminating media information.
A statement by the international non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders in Eastern Europe and Central Asia states that this is “a new powerful blow to freedom of speech in Russia”: “At the same time, this is a warning signal to other technological giants that oppose the Russian authorities. Attacked the tool necessary for the work of journalists, especially for the confidentiality of their sources and collected data.”
State agencies and companies are not in a hurry to move from Telegram to competing messengers. In the Ministry of Communications, however, they stated that the decision to block Telegram would not harm the users of the messenger, who either “will use other resources or will bypass the blockage.”
“Some of the audience will quietly move to other services, especially since many Telegram users have already used other messengers, and those who want to stay in this product know a lot of ways how to bypass the blockage,” Alexei Volin, Deputy Minister of Communications, said on the eve.