Screenshot The Moscow Times
Russia internet censor Roscomnadzor is looking for new, alternative technologies to ‘shut down’ the banned, Russian-developed, encrypted application called Telegram. Iran has also banned the app. The justification of the bans center around shutting down encrypted ‘terrorist’ communications but authoritative governments also want to remove a way for citizens to communicate without the fear of surveillance.
Since Aug. 6, Russian state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor and state security agency the FSB have been testing systems designed to allow more precise blocking of individual services, according to the minutes of a meeting between officials to discuss the plan. Anton Pinchuk, co-owner of Russian technology company Protei, which according to the minutes was invited to take part in the testing, confirmed to Reuters the testing was taking place. He said his firm has declined to take part.
The earlier attempt to block Telegram involved targeting Internet Protocol addresses operated by Amazon, Google and others that hosted Telegram traffic. The problem was that these IP addresses often also hosted traffic for multiple other services which were also affected. The systems being tested now use a technology called Deep Packet Inspection. The technology operates in a more surgical way, analyzing Internet traffic, identifying the data flows of a particular services and blocking them, wrote The Moscow Times.
Social media was abuzz earlier in the year when Russia first attempted to shut down the private messaging service. By blocking associated IP addresses, many other critical infrastructure capabilities were inadvertently shut down, but Telegram is still working.