Public dialogue of the head of Roskomnadzor and Durov decided the fate of the Telegram

© AP Photo / Roman Kulik Pavel Durov. Archival photoPublic dialogue of the head of Roskomnadzor and Durov decided the fate of the Telegram© AP Photo / Roman Kulik

After numerous attempts to contact the Telegram Roskomnadzor, finally was able to talk to the founder of the messenger of Pavel Durov, publicly addressing him. However, a clear answer, whether the Telegram will provide the information requested to avoid blocking the service in Russia, the Ministry has not received. Meanwhile, experts believe that the blocking of the messenger is only a matter of time, but to limit the access to it will fail.

Friday morning on the Agency’s website posted the appeal of the head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov, in which he urged the team and personally Durov Telegram to fulfill the Russian legislation, providing information for inclusion in the register of the organizers of disseminating information. Zharov also said that time to meet the requirements of the Department remains a little, and in case of further ignoring the messenger will be blocked on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Durov said in response that blocking this neutral to Russia service is not in the interests of the country, as other messengers like Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger is controlled by the United States.

«As soon as the Telegram is blocked, the correspondence of Russian officials, their friends and relatives, and other sensitive data via WhatsApp/Viber will be performed, controlled by America cloud Apple iCloud/Google Drive. What’s the point from the point of view of national security of Russia? Looks like a sabotage state interests,» wrote the founder of the Telegram on his page in «Vkontakte».
Sociable Roskomnadzor

As reported by the media, Roskomnadzor at the beginning of may sent a Telegram letter with a request to provide data for the registration of a company in the register of the organizers of disseminating information. The Agency has warned the company that if data is not provided, the resource may be blocked.

According to the law «On information, information technologies and protection of information», after contacting the Agency, the organizer of distribution of information (any communication service for users – ed.) shall, within five working days to provide their contact information. If the data is not provided, Roskomnadzor within 15 days sends a reminder after this period, the service is blocked.

Last week the Minister told reporters that he intends during the week to publicly call on Durova.

«Almost every day, Roskomnadzor sends to all available addresses Telegram of letter of explanation requirements of the Russian law, the organizers of the dissemination of information. However, until now we have not received from the messenger, no response… So I publicly appeal to the command Telegram and personally Pavel Valeryevich Durov: comply with Russian legislation!», — quoted Zharov on the Agency’s website on Friday.

He explained that the convenience and popularity of the messenger in Russia led him to turn to Durova personally.

Position Durov

It should be noted that the above Durov WhatsApp, Viber and Facebook Messenger are not available in the register of Roskomnadzor.

«It is ironic that on the agenda in Russia, no lock controlled USA Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger, but is being actively discussed, the lock is neutral with respect to Russia Telegram», — said Durov.

Zharov, in turn, said in response that Facebook (which owns Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger), makes an independent decision regarding the execution of the Russian legislation and dialogue with the authorities of the Russian Federation. He accused the founder of the Telegram that he is «neutral with respect to terrorists and criminals who take advantage of his messenger, and totally ignores the safety of ordinary users Telegram».

«This position is far from reality: only the beginning of this month Telegram was blocked more than 5 thousand public channels and groups related to propaganda of terrorism… Telegram handles requests to remove terrorist material from around the world – and no country in the Telegram has not been blocked for non-existent «neutrality» in this issue», — continued the dialogue Durov published a new message on his page in «Vkontakte».

Anyone, according to him, can see statistics of daily lock terrorists in Telegram-channel

What is the fate of Telegram in Russia?

According to the Telegram, the Russian audience as of January 2017 amounted to 6.3 million users. For comparison, the Viber in Russia about 50 million users, WhatsApp is more than 30 million.

«Telegram did not initially focused on the Russian market, this Pavel Durov said at the very beginning of the development of the messenger. The product is not translated into Russian language and selected this boycotting policy. Given the intractability of the founder lock Telegram — it is a question of time», — told RIA Novosti Director for project activities of the Institute of development Internet (IRI) Arseny Weltzin.

To ensure complete blocking of Telegram messenger in Russia is impossible, according to the Russian Association for electronic communications (RAEC).

«Only systematic work and pressure on the app stores, primarily Google Play and AppStore (can hinder the operation of the messenger – ed.). In the case of «success» will fail some of the features of the messenger, he will not be able to install new users, plus potential problems with updates», — told RIA Novosti press-service of the University.

As noted in the Association, in the new version of the app is supported bypassing potential blocking through the support proxy via SOCKS 5 (while in the Android version of the app).

Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation on the development of the Internet, German Klimenko stated that he sees no big problem in possible blocking of Telegram in Russia, because in the country there are more than 30 similar messengers. The most popular one, he said, ICQ (owned Mail.Ru Group).

«I hope that (much of a problem the Russians have in the case of blocking Telegram — ed.) will not. At least I know that in psychiatry this disease as «incurable dependence on Telegram» no,» he said.