Telegram Bows Down To Russia to Avoid Ban


"However, we will not comply with unconstitutional and technically impossible Yarovaya Package laws - as well as with other laws incompatible with protection of privacy and Telegram's privacy policy", Durov said.

On June 26, Russia's Federal Security Service announced that the April 3 terrorist attack on the St. Petersburg metro, which left 16 people dead, was coordinated using the messaging app Telegram.

After threatening to block Telegram, Russian authorities increased pressure on the company earlier this week, saying that terrorists had used the Telegram application to carry out a deadly suicide bombing on Russian soil.

"At this point, Telegram messenger has provided all the data, required by law, to be introduced into the list of information distribution organizers".

In the same statement, Zharov said that Telegram had not responded to Roskomnadzor's request for information necessary to include the app on Russia's "Registry of Information Disseminators". "There is only one requirement, and it is simple: fill out the questionnaire with information about Telegram's managing company sent to you", Zharov said.

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Telegram has become increasingly popular in Russian Federation and elsewhere, due in part to its safety features, though it can not guarantee absolute privacy.

According to the Russian law On Information, the registered information distributor has the following duties: to store the message logs for six months, to provide the secret services with keys to decipher the correspondence, and from 2018 - to keep all correspondence for half a year. Zharov pointed out that otherwise the messenger will be blocked on the territory of Russian Federation.

Telegram retains cloud chat data on servers located worldwide under different legal systems, making it hard for governments to request any of it.

Expanding on his comments, Mr Durov told the Financial Times newspaper: "We didn't want to give the authorities a chance to block Telegram under a pretext of not providing nonsense data like the name of our company".