Russia Might Ban Telegram Messenger Over Data Protection Laws

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Russia has been known to be one of the strictest nations in the world when it comes to privacy laws. The country has not really been privacy friendly. In a nation such as Russia, apps that offer high levels of encryption and privacy are bound to run into trouble. Telegram Messenger has now become the latest app to be warned by the Russian authorities. Russia has basically asked the company to either comply with their latest privacy laws or face a ban in the nation.

For Telegram, losing Russia would be a big blow as over 6 Million users in Russia use the app. Russian intelligence authorities state that Telegram Messenger was used to plot the attack on Saint Petersburg in April. In the past when Paris went under attack, it was alleged that the Telegram Messenger was used by the terrorists for communication. Russia has now taken a stronger action and the company might face a ban.

Russian data protection laws were updated on the 1st of January this year. These updated laws require foreign companies to maintain a six-month record of personal data of the users, as well as their encryption keys to be stored in Russia. The data and the key are to be handed over to the Russian Government as and when asked for it. Earlier LinkedIn faced a ban in Russia because they refused to comply to similar laws.

“There is one demand, and it is simple: to fill in a form with information on the company that controls Telegram,” Alexander Zharov said, head of communications regulator Roskomnadzor. “And to officially send it to Roskomnadzor to include this data in the registry of organizers of dissemination of information. In case of refusal… Telegram shall be blocked in Russia until we receive the needed information.” Stay tuned with us for more information on this case.

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