In Moscow, people release paper planes—the Telegram messenger icon—to protest a court decision to block Telegram because it violates Russian regulations, on April 30. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva World China has its own great firewall. Turkey has been blocking swaths of the internet, including YouTube, for at least a decade. So until last month, Russia was a glaring standout among authoritarian nations in allowing its people relatively free access to the World Wide Web.No longer. In what is shaping up to be a historic showdown, the Russian state has mounted its first major assault on cyberfreedom. On April 15, Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor (RKN) began trying to block Telegram, a secure messaging service and blogging platform used by more than 15 million Russians. Its crimes? Refusing to comply with a new law that obliges all internet companies to physically store their data on Russian users in the country, and failing to hand over secure “keys” to enable secret police to read encrypted messages.Even if Telegram had wanted to comply, it couldn’t; the platform provides encryption between one user and another, preventing Telegram from hacking into its own messages. Still, it is Russia’s “first huge act of censorship,” says Ilya Andreev, co-founder of… Read full this story
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