Russian Federation has filed a lawsuit to block Telegram messaging app

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In its court filing, Roskomnadzor said the legal action was related to the FSB request and Telegram's non-compliance with its legal requirements as a "distributor of information".

As part of its services, Telegram allows users to communicate via encrypted messages which can not be read by third parties, including government authorities.

Ranked as the world's ninth most popular mobile messaging app, Telegram is widely used in countries across the former Soviet Union and Middle East.

In October 2017, Telegram Messenger LLP was fined 800 thousand rubles, since the company violated part 2 of Art. 13.31 of the Administrative Code (Information source's failure to store and / or provide to the government investigative bodies with the information on receipt, transfer, delivery and / or processing of voice recordings, written text, images, sounds or other electronic messages of users or information about such users).

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Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman and an avid Telegram user, said "it would be a real shame if a consensus can't be reached", Russian agencies reported. If the court wishes Roskomnadzor right, the messenger will limit the territory of the Russian Federation.

Telegram says it can not comply with this demand because it employs end-to-end encryption.

Regulations rule that telcos and ISPs must abide by the blocklist and will be forced to ban Telegram across the country. Nonetheless, he added, "the law is the law".

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov, usually very outspoken on social media, has not commented on today's lawsuit.

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"In Russia we have many problems - from poverty to terrible state of the roads, from crime to poor medical care", opposition leader Alexei Navalny said via Twitter.

In September 2017 the FSB demanded the encryption keys, Durov said, prompting a formal complaint when the request was rejected.

The company has refused, saying the way the service is built means it has no access to them.

However, as in Iran, such restrictions can be easily bypassed through the use of a virtual private network (VPN) or proxy server, which can funnel a user's data through a country where the service is not blocked.

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