Is Telegram actually blocked in Russia?
She’s In Russia goes deeper into the conflict between Roskomnadzor and the popular application Telegram in their newest episode.
In July of 2017 the Russian Federal Security Services wrote to the CEO of the encrypted messenger app Telegram, Pavel Durov, requesting encryption keys for six separate accounts, allegedly used to plan terrorist activities. Durov, to his credit, said no, and in so doing triggered a battle on two main fronts: legal and technical.
Since 2011, digital freedom in Russia has become increasingly restricted. The government’s approach is two-fold, by technically blocking websites and software and by prosecuting individual internet users for liking and posting materials that the government deems criminal.
This week, the podcast She’s In Russia, disentangles the Russia vs. Telegram narrative, as part of two episodes they are doing on the story. In the episode, entitled Bear with a Stick, co-hosts Olivia Capozzalo and Smith Freeman answer the following, how does the Russian government regulate the Runet from a legal perspective? How does Roskomnadzor (the telecom authority) administer the black list of forbidden sites? And how did Telegram respond technically to the threat of a block in Russia?
Capozzalo and Freeman talk to Tanya Lokot, Professor on digital protest and internet freedom; Damir Gainutdinov, Telegram’s lawyer in its case to the European Court of Human Rights; Mikhail Klimerav, the Executive Director of The Internet Protection Society (or ОЗИ); and Phillip Kulin, block expert and the creator of https://usher2.club/en/.