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Russia internet ban blocks Telegram and millions of websites

9.5 million

In an attempt to restrict political opposition, Russia’s ban against messaging app Telegram cut off 9.5 million of the app’s users and millions of websites.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Dado Ruvic
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9.5 million

The crackdown by Roskomnadzor—Russia’s media and telecom monitoring agency—tracked Telegram through a wide range of subnets and hosting services, at one point blocking over 15 million sites.

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9.5 million

“If you have a government agency being so brutal… After they have faced this much heat, they can go after Facebook and Google,” Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov told the New York Times.

c telegram RTX5NXYJ Dado Ruvic
9.5 million

That might be the government’s next move. Roskomnadzor lead executive Aleksandr Zharov already threatened to block Facebook for being “significantly late” complying with Russia’s media bans.

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Meanwhile, the scope of the ban—blacklisting entire web hosts rather than single IP addresses—has interfered with access to apps, platforms, and services, including ones used by local businesses.

c telegram RTX5NXYJ Dado Ruvic
9.5 million

The Russian government is also telling Google and Amazon to remove Telegram from their respective app stores. Neither company has responded to the request.

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9.5 million

Meanwhile, Telegram is doubling down on refusals to give backdoor access to private messages, despite the risks. CEO Pavel Durov is offering lucrative cryptocurrency grants to VPNs hindering the ban.

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