MOSCOW, Russia - Following a prolonged legal dispute, a Russian court ruled on Friday that the Telegram messaging app would be blocked in Russia.
After the company refused to hand over its encryption keys to Russian authorities, Russia’s state communication watchdog filed a lawsuit to limit access to Telegram.
The court ordered that access to the messenger service should be blocked in Russia.
The move however, is set to herald communication disruption for scores of users.
Telegram is immensely popular in Russia and is not just used by ordinary people but also by government authorities.
The app is used by the Kremlin to coordinate timings of regular conference calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman.
Further, many government officials use the messenger to communicate with the media.
The app boasts of over 200 million users worldwide and allows users to communicate via encrypted messages which cannot be read by third parties, including government authorities.
Pavel Durov, founder of the Telegram, has insisted that his company would not hand over encryption keys to Russian authorities as it does not share confidential user data with anyone.
Following the move on Friday, Telegram became the second global network after LinkedIn to be blocked in Russia.