Roskomnadzor lifted requirements to restrict access to Telegram. The decision was taken in agreement with the General Prosecutor's Office. The messenger was blocked in Russia from April 2018 to the present.
“In agreement with the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, Roskomnadzor removes requirements to restrict access to the Telegram messenger,” the Roskomnadzor said in a statement.
The messenger’s site has also been removed from the list of blocked resources, it follows from the information of the Roskomnadzor universal service for checking restrictions on access to sites or their pages.
“We positively assess the readiness expressed by the founder of Telegram to counter terrorism and extremism,” the department said.
A spokesman for Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin took note of the decision of Roskomnadzor regarding Telegram.
“We take into account both the decision itself and the exhaustive argumentation of Roskomnadzor,” TASS quoted him as saying.
The Roskomnadzor’s statement also says that the agency is ready to work with all Internet companies operating in the country to quickly stop the spread of terrorist and extremist information, child pornography, and the promotion of suicide and drugs.
As pointed out in Roskomnadzor, joint efforts with leading Russian and foreign Internet companies a weekly average of 2.5 thousand materials are removed about suicidal behavior, 1.3 thousand - extremist and terrorist in nature, 800 - promoting drug use, and 300 - with pornographic images of minors.
Shortly before revising the decision of Roskomnadzor on the status of Telegram in Russia, the founder of the messenger Pavel Durov estimated his audience in Russia at 30 million people. Thus, he responded to the initiative of the State Duma deputies to unblock the messenger.
Recall that the parliament has prepared a bill that prohibits the blocking of Telegram in Russia during high alert or emergency situations.
“I welcome this initiative. Unlocking would allow 30 million Telegram users in Russia to use the service more comfortably, ”Durov wrote.
The entrepreneur noted that this step could have a positive impact on the innovative development and national security of the country.
Telegram Location in Russia
Recall that in April 2018, Roskomnadzor began the procedure for blocking Telegram in Russia in accordance with the decision of the Tagansky District Court of Moscow. The essence of the claims against the messenger was the reluctance of Telegram developers to provide special services with decryption keys for user messages.
At the same time, the messenger continued to work in Russia, including through the use of VPN services. Note that with the help of Telegram the official report is published daily by the federal operational headquarters for countering coronavirus.
At the time the Telegram blocking began, the head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov said that he would only monitor the work of telecom operators, while bypassing blockages by users would not be monitored.
Subsequently, officials at various levels, as well as the head of state, Vladimir Putin, spoke about the situation with Telegram in Russia. He was asked about the fate of the messenger during the Direct Line in the summer of 2018.
The President in his response indicated that this issue concerns the safety of citizens, which is a top priority, mentioning the situation with the investigation of explosions in the St. Petersburg metro and the difficulties that investigators encountered.
“They could not track the correspondence of the terrorists, they could not make a decision in time, because it is encrypted, and the terrorists use it. But how should I react to this? After all, security matters in the first place, aren't they? ” - the president noted.
However, he pointed out that the ban is the easiest way to solve the problem, while more “civilized ways” should be sought.
“Therefore, I will encourage all my colleagues to follow this path, the path of using the special services and law enforcement agencies themselves of modern means of combating offenses, including terrorist manifestations, without restricting the space of freedom, including on the Internet,” the president then concluded.