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Russia lifts veto on Telegram two years after banning it

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The Russian Government has lifted the ban on the use of Telegram, which has been in force in the country for the past two years. The government of Vladimir Putin had vetoed Telegram – whose creator is, precisely, of Russian origin – for not having acceded to the request of the Moscow secret services to share with them encrypted access keys to the user's conversations.

Despite the Russian government's ban on using Telegram, the messaging app continued to operate in the country

Given Telegram's refusal to provide such requested data, the Russian government made the decision to block access to the app in April 2018, alleging that the company had refused to collaborate in accordance with Russia's anti-terrorism laws.

The government then assured that its petition was about accounts that used terrorist groups and, given the impossibility of accessing the requested information, it began to block users' IPs so that they could not enter Telegram.

However, the measures were "useless" because the platform did not leave the country, was no longer used, and the user base in Russia has grown from 10 to 30 million people during the ban. It is even used by Kremlin members like Dmitry Peskov, the president's spokesman, Vladimir Putin, who reportedly continued to use Telegram in the ban.

The lifting of this "sanction" has two consequences. On the one hand, the Russian media assures that the admission of the use of Telegram in the country is a "defeat" to the Kremlin system . However, the Federal Service for the Supervision of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and the Media, known as Roskomnadzor, affirms that the lifting of the ban is because Telegram has shown interest in fighting terrorism in the nation and that it will work to avoid the use of the platform by extremist bodies.

In this sense, Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram, has always defended that his company works to eliminate extremist and terrorist content and has repeatedly asked the Russian authorities to unblock the service officially. However, until now the Roskomnadzor had not responded to their requests.

Brian Rattay

Brian Rattay is a B2B Digital Marketing veteran, with close to 20+ years of client experience in web marketing project management and corporate training. He is one of the Top 20 Digital Marketing Strategists as per The Online Marketing Institute, where he is a lead instructor.