A Russian court on Friday ordered that access to the Telegram messenger service be blocked in Russia, heralding possible communication disruption for millions of users in the latest clash between global technology firms and Russian authorities.
The decision came a week after state communication watchdog, Roskomnadzor, filed a lawsuit to limit access to Telegram following the company’s repeated refusal to give Russian state security services access to its users’ secret messages.
As part of its services, Telegram allows its more than 200 million global users to communicate via encrypted messages which cannot be read by third parties, including government authorities.
But Russia’s FSB Federal Security service has said it needs access to some of those messages for its work that includes guarding against terrorist attacks. Telegram has refused to comply with the demands, citing respect for user privacy.