10 July 2020
Whether Telegram has compromised the security of its customers, many experts
would disagree. However, certain anomalies were reported by some users.
On June 18, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications oversight and censorship body announced in a public statement that it has lifted its ban on Telegram, the popular messaging app. The Russian government has been attempting to block the popular social media messaging app and its various activities within its borders for two years, unsuccessfully.
Win-Win solution After long discussions with Roskomnadzor, as Durov recently claimed via an online post, he had pointed out to them that censoring Telegram was pointless since VPNs or other similar tools could be used to bypass any such restrictions. Furthermore, Durov convinced Roskomnadzor that he and his team had found a solution to isolate and eliminate “extremist and terrorist content” seamlessly from Telegram. In Durov's own words:
Roskomnadzor lifted its ban just one week from Durov's announcement. The lifting of the ban was a sign of victory for many Russians, and especially for digital privacy advocates. Russia has already gained fame (or infamy) for curtailing the digital expression of its people by implementing stringent cyber policies.
Durov now wishes to devote the anti-censorship resources developed by Telegram to countries where Telegram is still illegal, like Iran and China, perhaps encouraged by his “win” in Russia. He trusts that censorship cannot be a permanent solution and that unity in anti-censorship is needed since the political state of these countries is becoming more and more unpredictable each day.