Russia removes two-year ban on messaging app Telegram

Russia blocked Telegram's access in the country in April 2018 due to its refusal to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service (FSB) for use in decrypting messages if necessary. Today, the country's communications agency Roskomnadzor ended the ban on the service after it made some concessions (via Reuters).

Roskomnadzor said it lifted the ban on Telegram after its founder, Pavel Durov, agreed to work with the Russian government in "combating terrorism and extremism" on the service. The agency added that its decision to remove the restriction is "in agreement with Russia’s general prosecutor’s office".

It can be recalled that Durov responded to Russia's move two years ago by saying, "Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed". Details of the new agreement between Telegram and Roskomnadzor remain unclear for now, but the latter has been asking the company to give access to certain data.

Despite the ban, Telegram did not completely went offline in Russia as it made a few changes to its service in order to circumvent the ban. However, that did not guarantee complete availability of the platform to everyone.

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