[Updated] Telegram is still alive in Russia despite huge collateral damage
Update 6 (April 18): A new report out of Russia says that now Volvo Russia and Gett Taxi services are both down doe to the Telegram crackdown.
Update 5 (April 18): Roskomnadzor has seemingly knocked down its own site in hunt for Telegram. More info here.
Update 4 (April 18): Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov has vowed to donate millions of dollars to the service’s cause, while revealing this he has started making payments in bitcoins.
To support internet freedoms in Russia and elsewhere I started giving out bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run socks5 proxies and VPN. I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow. I called this Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally.
Read Durov’s complete statement here.
Update 3 (April 18): Here’s what Edward Snowden has to say on the matter:
Roskomnadzor's mad quest to punish @telegram for protecting user's rights has totally broken Russia's internet today. Enormous numbers of sites completely unrelated to Telegram are blocked in a morally and technically ignorant censorship effort. https://t.co/bJCQZxyzRM https://t.co/z7UFL7RtnY
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 17, 2018
Update 2 (April 17): Here’s a victim of Russia’s crackdown on Telegram:
Dear Russian users, maybe your devices are offline. Here's the reason: Our cloud servers are Amazon Global Servers. Roskomnadzor banned today over 1.8 million IP addresses belonging to Amazon and Google's cloud infrastructure.
Please use manual button to control devices.
— ITEAD Studio (@ITeadstudio) April 17, 2018
Update 1 (April 17): According to the Interfax news agency, Russia has asked Apple and Google to remove Telegram from their respective application stores in Russia. No deadlines have been specified though.
Original story follows:
As you might already know, a Russian court recently passed an order to block access to Telegram in the country following the latter’s non-compliance of the government’s request to hand over customers’ encryption keys for some national security-related matters.
It is now coming to light that the Russian government’s efforts to pull the plug on the service have been futile so far. The messaging service was down for sometime yesterday, but has been normally available since then.
However, what is concerning is that the steps Russia has taken to bulldoze Telegram have caused huge collateral damage. Millions of IP addresses of Google cloud services and Aamazon AWS have been blocked following reports that Telegram is routing data through these services.
While Telegram somehow still continues to work, other popular services like Viber and Tom Tom, as well as several small online services have been knocked down in the process by the Russian government. Reports even suggest several payments systems have gone down, and people’s ability to withdraw money has also been affected in some cases.
Telegram is routing traffic through Amazon and Google cloud services, which is forcing Russia's telecom regulator to block hundreds of thousands of IPs. People are reporting that some credit card terminals are not working as a result. https://t.co/7CO2roBJhJ
— Yasha Levine (@yashalevine) April 16, 2018
Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecom regulator, has made it clear that VPN/Proxy services will also have to face the heat if they allow users to access blocked services. Russia has even asked popular apk distribution website APK Mirror to stop serving Telegram apks to users in Russia.
Presumably, they'd have the power to cut all traffic to the site if we didn't comply. They didn't go as far as saying that directly, but probably would in a follow-up contact.
Russia has no jurisdiction over @APKMirror but at the same time, we wouldn't want to get blocked there.
— APK Mirror (@APKMirror) April 16, 2018
A lot is happening in Russia over this ongoing Telegram issue. We’ll keep updating this story as and when more news-worthy stuff comes up.
Stay connected with us on Twitter (@PiunikaWeb) to hear about all related developments as and when they occur