IT SEEMS Russia's Telegram ban going exactly to plan, as downloads of the encrypted messaging app have reportedly increased since it came into force.
The ban, enforced by Russia's Roskomnadzor, went into effect on 16 April after Telegram's owners repeatedly refused to hand over message transcripts to Russian state security.
"The position of Telegram remains the same - the requirements of the FSB to provide access to private correspondence of users are unconstitutional, not based on law, technically and legally unenforceable, hence the requirement of blocking is also unreasonable," Telegram's lawyer Pavel Chikov said earlier this month.
However, since the ban came into force, the number of Telegram downloads have reportedly increased, with users flocking to bag themselves a VPN in order to gov-enforced block.
NordVPN says it's noticed a 300 per cent increase in the number of Russian users signing up to its service since the sweeping ban came into effect.
Marty P Kamden, CMO of NordVPN, said: "People simply need to connect to a VPN server to reach any IP address where they can download Telegram. Many Russians are becoming more technically savvy because of the Telegram block and will now be able to use VPN to unblock other sites blocked in Russia."
As a result, the Russian government has blocked Google and Amazon-owned IP addresses Telegram was using to continue operating in the country. As a result, some Russian users are having problems accessing Google services like Search, Gmail, and push notifications for Android apps, according TechCrunch.
"We are aware of reports that some users in Russia are unable to access some Google products, and are investigating those reports," a Google spokesperson told the news outlet.
"The Russian government is failing in their task to block the app," added Kamden.
"Telegram has only become more popular in Russia with many more downloads compared to the week before, and the government has shown its complete lack of understanding of how the technology works." µ
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