Russia has banned the popular messaging app Telegram since April this year. This was done due to the refusal of the company’s officials to hand over the encryption keys to their messages to the FSB so the organisation would have the ability to snoop through any and all messages
Telegrams founder Pavel Durov had espoused his strong opposition to this policy, saying, “privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed.”
Today, Russia Today reports that the government watchdog (Roscomnadzor) is willing to lift its ban — once the FSB is granted full access to encrypted messages. A lawyer for Telegram argues in an interview that “[Telegram] never denied that the authorities have a right and even an obligation to fight terrorism. On the contrary, we suggested the only civilized way to do it – a court order in exchange for a disclosure. A disclosure not of the content of the messages even, but only of an IP address or a telephone number. The balance must be found between national security and privacy,”
Durov posted on his Telegram channel on Tuesday that these changes highlighted above (sharing of IP addresses and phone numbers) would make the platform “a less attractive place for those who use it to spread terrorist propaganda.”
As of now, Telegram still remains blocked in Russia.