Russian authorities bet on new equipment to enforce ban on Telegram

Russian authorities bet on new equipment to enforce ban on Telegram
Russian authorities bet on new equipment to enforce ban on Telegram / wiki
By EWDN in Moscow September 20, 2019

In the Siberian region of Tyumen, mobile operators are about to test special equipment to enforce the authorities’ ban on Telegram. As reported by Reuters, cited by the Russian media, this equipment has been provided by Roskomnadzor, the state telecom and Internet regulator, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).

The tests are to be conducted this month in real conditions, the news agency reported from sources in the telecom industry.

This past spring, the Russian media revealed certain details about the equipment used for these tests. Relying on a traffic filtration technology named Deep Packet Inspection, the equipment was provided by RDP.RU. This Moscow-based company offers networking solutions for telecom and Internet providers. It is owned partially (15%) by Rostelecom, the national telecom operator.

Telegram was banned in Russia on April 13, 2018, following its refusal to let the Russian secret service FSB to decipher user messengers as required by law. However, more than one year later, the instant messenger continues to be widely accessible from Russia.

Why Telegram was blocked

Adopted in 2016, a new Russian legislation (dubbed ‘Yarovaya law’ or ‘Big Brother law’) requires messenger apps and other “organizers of information distribution” to add additional coding to transmitted electronic messages so that the the FSB can decipher them.

Telegram agreed to register its service in Russia, but refused to cooperate with the secret service under “laws incompatible with Telegram’s privacy policy.”

As a consequence, a Moscow court ruled to block access to Telegram in a trial, which the messenger’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov called “an open farce.”

The authorities’ failed attempts to block access to the service in the spring of last year caused substantial damages to a number of online services, which saw their IP address blocked even though they had no relation to Telegram.