Telegram is facing a lawsuit from Russia’s telecoms watchdog, seeking to limit its access in Russia. This move comes after Telegram refused to give the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) backdoor access to user’s encrypted messages (they must really want to increase their sticker collection). The 9th most popular messaging app in the world provides encrypted messaging as part of its service and has been used by protesters in Iran and ISIS terrorists. The FSB has mentioned that it needs access to encrypted messages for its work and also for its defence against terrorist attacks. However, Telegram stood firm on the grounds of freedom and privacy and refused to comply (taking notes Facebook?). The FSB’s request is in line with Moscow’s push to increase internet surveillance, which faces a backlash of criticisms from the Russians. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny tweeted “In Russia, we have many problems – from poverty to the awful state of the roads, from crime to poor medical care, but the state is engaged in blocking Telegram in our name…”.
Written by Ashley Koh