Russia demands Apple pull Telegram for iPhone from App Store

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 17
Russia's telecomunications regulator, Roskomnadzor, sent orders to both Apple and Google on Tuesday, asking them to halt local downloads of the popular secure messaging app Telegram.

Setting up Telegram.
Setting up Telegram.


Roskomnadzor had already began blocking access to Telegram on Monday following a Friday court ruling, according to Reuters. While Telegram is a non-profit service developed by a largely Russian team -- including heads Pavel and Nikolai Durov -- Russia's domestic spy agency, the FSB, ordered the company to hand over encryption keys last year, as required by Russian law.

Pavel Durov has refused to do so, arguing that "privacy is not for sale," and that "human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed." He noted that Telegram has "the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales," although he is also aiming to expand the service into a blockchain economic system for its users, and recently launched an initial coin offering to raise the needed money.

Some Russians may still be able to access Telegram by way of virtual private networks, but the government has the authority to shut them down if they support access to banned services.

Although the ban is likely about control of information first and foremost, it also appears to be benefitting services owned by Mail.ru, one of the companies under the control of Alisher Usmanov, an ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. ICQ and TamTam have surged in popularity, and in fact Putin internet advisor Herman Klimenko was recommending that Telegram users switch to ICQ before the recent bans took effect. ICQ was bought by Mail.ru in 2010.

As of this writing Telegram still appears to be on the Russian App Store, though that may be short-lived.

Apple is known to comply with censorship requests as long as they follow a country's laws, for example pulling VPN apps from the Chinese App Store. Most recently it has transferred control of Chinese iCloud data to a local company, putting it within easier reach of the government.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 124member
    He noted that Telegram "the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales,"

    So - is he suggesting Russia have the encryption keys for Whatsapp etc?
  • Reply 2 of 17
    I wonder if you are logged in on another's country app store you could still download the app. Putin seems very afraid of a little app...
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 17
    mike54mike54 Posts: 200member
    Not good Russia. Western media are having a field day with this news, they love anything they can use against Russia.
    Telegram hardly if ever got any publicity in the western press until a anti-Russian angle can be exploited.

    Anyway, Telegram is the best messaging app out there.
    olswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Time to download Telegram. If Putin is against it, it must be good.
    edited April 17 jbdragonpatchythepiratebaconstangviclauyycolsflashfan207jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Time to download Telegram. If Putin is against it, it must be good.
    Unless he is using reverse psychology because he really wants you to use it...


    Russia is an entire culture of software development and legit hacking. 

    Russians will be jailbreeaking and using this. Put in knows that. He fostered that culture. 
    patchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    I would comply and remove Telegram. Of course, should the authors choose to upload Telegram2, I wouldn't stop them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,663member
    On android they can side load it, so not going to help much.

    Though, anyone using the app likely would be under immediate KGB (or whatever name its called) scrutiny, so use will go down to near zero anyway.
    An org wanting to hide something in Russia should roll up their own app and embed their crypto traffic into the "noise" of a video feed or something
    (sadly, that means only the criminals and foreign spies can truly do it).
    If you outlaw privacy and encryption, only the criminals, hackers and the likes will have it, that's the same argument as in the US.
    muthuk_vanalingam2old4funolswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Apple = Profit greater than Privacy.

    It's hackneyed, Apple has sold out and is the perfect partner to Google.
    When I was CEO of a company a few decades back, I was always receiving reprimanding correspondence from the UK Foreign Office because I refused point blank to sell our products to any country that did not respect and ensure its citizens with basic human rights.

    I was appalled to see British Civil Servants more concerned about GDP than the horrors or lack of welfare inflicted on the citizens of a sovereign state. I refused requests for our product in USSR, South Africa, Cuba, Israel, many Latin-American countries where puppet dictators were supported militarily by the USA, i.e., Pinochet... There were others too.
  • Reply 9 of 17

    farmboy said:
    Except that Trump does not have a team of people with elevated levels of mortality comparing to the rest of the population. Putin does...and so does a very famous candidate that lost the US presidency. Trump also does not kill his opponents, unlike Putin.
    Just remind me to stay off my balcony, don't touch doorknobs, don't drink any tea a stranger offers, and watch out for people with umbrellas.
    Stay well clear of Mary Poppins then.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,206member
    mike54 said:
    Not good Russia. Western media are having a field day with this news, they love anything they can use against Russia.
    Telegram hardly if ever got any publicity in the western press until a anti-Russian angle can be exploited.

    Anyway, Telegram is the best messaging app out there.
    Telegram is a great, secure app. Signal is also very secure.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    farmboy said:
    Except that Trump does not have a team of people with elevated levels of mortality comparing to the rest of the population. Putin does...and so does a very famous candidate that lost the US presidency. Trump also does not kill his opponents, unlike Putin.
    Just remind me to stay off my balcony, don't touch doorknobs, don't drink any tea a stranger offers, and watch out for people with umbrellas.
    Or sit on park benches.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    If the NSA, FBI, & CIA had their way, we'd be down the same road.
    dewmetallest skil
  • Reply 13 of 17
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 186member
    Apple = Profit greater than Privacy.

    It's hackneyed, Apple has sold out and is the perfect partner to Google.
    When I was CEO of a company a few decades back, I was always receiving reprimanding correspondence from the UK Foreign Office because I refused point blank to sell our products to any country that did not respect and ensure its citizens with basic human rights.
    I'm not sure how keeping Apple products out of regular citizen's hands would improve things. Keeping them away from officials, Oligarchs on the other hand…

    Possibly moot as Russia is blocking millions of IP addresses: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/04/in-effort-to-shut-down-telegram-russia-blocks-amazon-google-network-addresses/
  • Reply 14 of 17
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,257member
    Putin won't live forever and eventually Russians themselves may  better determine the direction they want their country to head. Or maybe that's just the opinion of an outsider that does not fit with the reality there.
    edited April 17
  • Reply 15 of 17
    farmboy said:
    Except that Trump does not have a team of people with elevated levels of mortality comparing to the rest of the population. Putin does...and so does a very famous candidate that lost the US presidency. Trump also does not kill his opponents, unlike Putin.
    Just remind me to stay off my balcony, don't touch doorknobs, don't drink any tea a stranger offers, and watch out for people with umbrellas.
    You forgot - do not use phones and ...and there are so many other ways to kill a human being. Just ask KGB(it is called FSB now, but it is still the same old KGB).
  • Reply 16 of 17
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 160member
    Never trust a government that doesn't trust its people.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 17 of 17
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,130member
    Time to download Telegram. If Putin is against it, it must be good.
    So you download it now, but not when the Chinese commie government blocked it last year? Huh. How about that.

This discussion has been closed.