The Russian state telecommunications regulator, Roskomnadzor, said that it had started to block messenger service Telegram after the firm’s owner had refused to give access to private messages to the Federal Security Service (FSB).
An official at Roskomnadzor said hit would take several hours to complete the blocking process. Telegram was founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov who has been vocally critical of the Russian state’s interference in internet freedom. The FSB had requested access to users’ encrypted messages to enable its work which includes safeguarding against terrorist attacks.
A court gave Roskomnadzor the power to begin blocking the service on Friday as it found the company in violation of Russian regulations. The encrypted messaging service is widely used throughout Russian and has over 200mn global users.