Russian Federation has banned the wildly popular homegrown Telegram messaging app

Telegram messenger logo on a tablet screen

"The court ruled to satisfy the demand of Roskomnadzor.the decision is to be implemented immediately", Judge Yulia Smolina was quoted as saying by local media. Roskomnadzor threatened with the trial if Telegram would not pass the encryption keys to the FSB.

The restriction was not unexpected as Telegram and its founder Pavel Durov have been engaged in a legal battle since the company refused to hand over encryption keys to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).

In June 2017, Roskomnadzor requested Telegram management to comply with the Russian legislation or face blocking of the messenger.

As part of its services, Telegram allows its more than 200 million global users, including senior Russian government officials, to communicate via encrypted messages which can not be read by third parties.

In September past year, the FSB security service demanded encryption keys, Mr Durov said, prompting a formal complaint when the request was rejected.

Last year, Russian Federation threatened to ban Telegram, after claiming the encrypted messaging app was used in a terror plot that left 16 people dead.

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Three weeks ago, we informed you that encrypted messaging app Telegram was under fire in Russian Federation. It recently celebrated 200 million users, and is presently raising billions in what is being called the biggest initial coin offering so far.

Telegram has also been caught out before as an enabler of terrorist groups, thanks to its near-fanatical emphasis on user privacy.

The Guardain newspaper compared the ban to "Chinese-style" internet censorship and also said that there is no clarity as of now on how Russian Federation would block the app technically.

Judging by Durov's response, it appears as though Russians will lose their ability to access Telegram normally at least until the government decides to lift the ban.

Third-party VPN/Proxy-might be overloaded, which is likely to result in slow operation during the first hours after the block. The Iranian government took a similar step on New Year's Eve, which Telegram argues was motivated by the fact that Iranian political opposition were using the platform to communicate. "Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed".

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