After banning Telegram, the Russian government has now sent requests to Apple and Google to remove the messaging app from their respective app stores.
The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications or Roskomnadzor banned Telegram in the country on the orders of a Russian court.
Telegram is involved in a tiff with the Russian government as the latter refused to comply with FSB’s order of handing over the encryption keys for its messaging service or share the secret messages of its users’ with the government.
The Federal Security Service wants access to the encrypted chat messages of Telegram users citing security reasons. Telegram’s founder and CEO, Pavel Durov, refused to comply with the FSB’s order thereby leading the Russian court to order a ban on the messaging service.
In a bid to ban Telegram, the Russian government ended up asking ISPs in the country to ban hundreds of thousands of Amazon AWS and Google IPs, which effectively constitute the “cloud”, thereby affecting all other services and websites that rely on it.
It remains to be seen if Apple and Google will comply with the Russian government’s request. Apple had previously complied with the Chinese government request to remove VPN apps from the Chinese App Store.
What’s interesting here is that Telegram is not the only messaging service which encrypts the chats of its users. The reason behind the Russian government going behind Telegram has a political motive as well.