Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
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 authorities that it share encryption data with them. VOA

The chief of the Russian communications watchdog acknowledged Wednesday that millions of unrelated IP addresses have been frozen in a so-far futile attempt to block a popular messaging app.

Telegram, the messaging app that was ordered to be blocked last week, was still available to users in Russia despite authorities’ frantic attempts to hit it by blocking other services.


The row erupted after Telegram, which was developed by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, refused to hand its encryption keys to the intelligence agencies. The Russian government insists it needs them to pre-empt extremist attacks but Telegram dismissed the request as a breach of privacy.

Also Read: Facebook shuts down accounts owned by Russia-based IRA

Alexander Zharov, chief of the Federal Communications Agency, said in an interview with the Izvestia daily published Wednesday that Russia is blocking 18 networks that are used by Amazon and Google and which host sites that they believe Telegram is using to circumvent the ban.

Countless Russian businesses – from online language schools to car dealerships – reported that their web services were down because of the communication watchdog’s moves to bloc networks.

Internet experts estimate that Russian authorities have blocked about 16 million IP addresses since Monday, affecting millions of Russian users and businesses.


Representational image. Pixabay

In the interview, Zharov admitted that the authorities have been helplessly trying to block Telegram and had to shut down entire networks, some of which have over half a million IP addresses that are used by unrelated, “law-abiding companies,” he said.

Russia’s leading daily Vedomosti in Wednesday’s editorial likened the communications watchdog’s battle against Telegram, affecting millions of users of other web-services, to warfare.

“The large-scale indiscriminate blocking of foreign IP addresses in Russia in order to close the access to the messaging app Telegram is unprecedented and bears resemblance to carpet bombings,” the editorial said.

Zharov also indicated that Facebook could be the next target for the government if it refuses to comply with Russian law.

Also Read: Twitter Bans Russian Security Firm Kaspersky Lab From Buying Ads

Authorities previously insisted that Facebook store its Russian users’ data in Russia but has not gone through with its threats to block Facebook if it refuses to comply.

Zharov said authorities will check before the end of the year if the company is complying with its demands and warned that if it does not, “then, obviously, the issue of blocking will arise.”

Elsewhere in Moscow, a court on Wednesday sentenced a member of the punk collective Pussy Riot, who spent nearly two years in prison for a protest in Russia’s main cathedral, to 100 hours of community work for a protest against the Telegram blocking. Maria Alekhina and a dozen activists were throwing paper planes outside the communications watchdog’s office on Monday. VOA


Popular

Kishu Inu and Dogelon Mars are some of the more popular canine coins in recent months. Their popularity is demonstrated by the vast amount of trading volume that these cryptocurrencies receive.

At the time of writing, Kishu Inu has a trading volume exceeding $10 million and Dogelon Mars has an even larger trading volume that surpasses $30 million.

Keep Reading Show less

HUH Token

It’s here, and it appears that there ain’t nothin’ or no one stopping the skyrocketing force of HUH Token and the release of the long-awaited White Paper is finally here and we’re living for it.

It’s also great to note that Shiba Inu made a triumphant crypto market return this week and the reign of the dog continues though with HUH Token’s White Paper release it could see the ‘Utimeme’ token break out of the atmosphere on its December 6th launch and surpass Shiba Inu for altcoin supremacy.

Keep Reading Show less

HUH Token

HUH Token has been on the lips of crypto lovers for some time now and the much-anticipated White Paper release is here, right now, today!

Not only this but Shiba Inu’s mastery of the altcoin world could be coming to an end on HUH Token’s December 6th release if the aims, goals and technology in the White Paper are anything to go by.

Keep reading... Show less