Telegram allows for censorship; client update 4.1 protects against blocking

Pavel Durov

The head of Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, promised that Telegram did not need anything, only to send information about the company for inclusion in the register of distributors of information distributors (ARI). Pavel Durov agreed to send information and agreed to be included in the register of ARI. Thus, on June 28, 2017, the, and services are entered in the registry .

Nevertheless, the creator of the Telegram messenger perfectly understands that now the authorities have every reason to proceed to the next stage. According to the law, every ORI is obliged right now to comply with the law 97-FZ (Law on bloggers and organizers of information dissemination):

A year later, Law 374-FZ (the “Spring Act”) will come into force, with the obligation to store not only metadata (as in the law 97-FZ), but also text messages of all users up to six months in the territory of the Russian Federation - and provide the decryption keys for messages by request of authorized bodies. The law is one for all, and verbal agreements do not matter here, write “Vedomosti”.

Apparently, Telegram developers are well aware that verbal agreements have little power, if necessary, to comply with Russian legislation. Therefore, they had foreseen technical measures in advance, so that it was impossible in principle to implement the laws - that is, to establish total tapping of users. This is end-to-end encryption using the AES-256 algorithm in IGE mode, where only the sender and the recipient of the message have keys, and the owners of the service cannot provide the encryption key to the authorities.

Thus, Telegram cannot fulfill the requirements of the law of the Russian Federation and falls under the conditions of blocking. For this, too, are preparing in advance.

On June 30, 2017, the Telegram mobile client update was released with the ability to install a proxy for bypass blocking, if one is introduced (in the desktop version, the proxy was already there). “We believe in free and secure communications. Our responsibility is to provide technologies that protect the confidentiality and freedom of speech of our users around the world, ”said Telegram in an official report.

Pavel Durov commented on the client update:

So, Roskomnadzor was satisfied with sending to open sources with data about our company and registered Telegram in the register of distributors of information. As it is declared, the question of blocking Telegram in Russia is not at the moment.

However, it is still too early to rejoice: the contradiction between the Telegram privacy policy (“not a single byte of personal data to third parties”) and a number of laws of the Russian Federation on spying has not disappeared. Telegram works on the same principles throughout the world: even in a conservative Iran, where Facebook and Twitter are blocked and where Telegram has more than 40 million active users, the government has not received a single byte of user data from us. We will not make exceptions from our principles for the sake of maintaining market share in individual countries.

In this regard, I urge you to make sure that you have the latest version of Telegram (4.1) installed. Today's update, in addition to convenient administration of large groups and channels, makes Telegram even more resistant to potential blockages in the future - both in Russia and in other countries.

After the threats of Roskomnadzor, Telegram temporarily bypassed WhatsApp and moved from 15th to 1st place in the top of the Russian AppStore.


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