Eastern Europe

Russia Unblocks Telegram In Surprise Move…The Question Is Why?

Image by Constantin Eckstein

The Russian state media watchdog Roskomnadzor has removed the block on the Telegram encrypted messenger service developed by Russian emigre Pavel Durov. The regulator declared an agreement with Durov had been reached regarding terrorists using the network.

Durov recently lost a high-profile fight with the SEC over a cryptocurrency project the American regulator considered an investment vehicle.

“We positively assess the readiness to counter terrorism and extremism stated by Telegram founder [Pavel Durov – TASS]. Roskomnadzor lifts requirements to limiting the access to the Telegram messenger by agreement with the Russian Office of General Prosecutor,” the regulator said, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

The authority expressed its readiness to interact with all the Internet companies working in Russia “for prompt prevention of dissemination of terrorist and extremist information, child pornography and propaganda of suicides and drugs.”

Russia’s federal media watchdog Roskomnadzor made the surprise announcement Thursday, citing Telegram founder Pavel Durov’s “stated readiness to counter terrorism and extremism,” wrote The Moscow Times.

Telegram agreed to turn over terrorist suspects’ personal data under a privacy policy adopted in 2018 after a Russian court ordered Roskomnadzor to block the app over its refusal to provide users’ online communications to security services.

Analysts will now be wondering if some kind of deal has been made regarding encryption on Telegram. Can Russian authorities now read messages? The answer is still out.

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