Russian authorities have finally given up on trying to block its citizens from accessing the encrypted messaging platform Telegram. The move, announced this week, has been depicted by Russian media as a rare and humiliating climbdown for President Vladimir Putin. Roskomnadzor, which succeeded the KGB as Russia’s communications watchdog, said that the ban was lifted because the app’s founder, Pavel Durov, was now prepared to moderate and remove extremist propaganda from the platform.
The unblocking of Telegram is being hailed as an ideological victory.
Alexander Gorbunov, a crypto trader and author of the popular political blog, StalinGulag, hailed the unblocking of the encrypted messaging platform as an ideological victory. The Russian government is known to have a mass surveillance system. Earlier in 2018, A Moscow court imposed the ban on Telegram, after its founder, Pavel Durov refused to cooperate with the authorities and share encryption keys, which would have given them access to users’ data. However, Russians found a way to get around the ban and access the platform, aided by Telegram itself. Telegram has been accused of not taking adequate actions to remove extremist and hate propaganda from the platform.
Telegram abandoned its blockchain project after a legal battle.
Earlier in May, the encrypted messaging giant Telegram abandoned its crypto project, with its founder Pavel Durov blaming the US court for seeking to crush any attempt at decentralization to maintain its global financial dominance. The US Securities Exchange Commission had forced Telegram to end its TON project after several court hearings since October last year. Company’s founder Pavel Durov announced on his Telegram channel, stating the blockchain project – the Telegram Open Network (TON) and its currency, known as “Grams” – would have to be shut down. Durov blamed the US court for the decision. The US SEC had sued the company for conducting an illegal initial coin offering.