To combat terrorism effectively Russian security forced revealed their plan to ban the encrypted messaging service, Telegram. However, matters were made worse as the company outrightly said no to handing over their users’ information. A day after the ban going into effect, CEO Pavel Durov announced “In order to support internet freedoms in Russia and elsewhere I started giving out bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run proxies and VPN. I will invest millions of dollars and hope others will join my cause.”
Durov’s Telegram channel followers were informed that “For the last 24 hours Telegram has been under a ban by internet providers in Russia. The reason is our refusal to provide encryption keys to Russian security agencies. For us, this was an easy decision. We promised our users 100% privacy and would rather cease to exist than violate this promise,”.
Telegram is an encrypted messaging service which is famous for providing its users’ privacy. It used by people for seeking relative levels of privacy all over the world. The Russian government has pointed out various terrorist acts not only on its soil but also around the globe, where Telegram has been accused of playing a role. And so its security and communication agencies have demanded Telegram provide a way for government minders to access user information in at least the most criminal of cases.
Pavel Durov did not attend the final hearing on his company’s immediate future in the country. “Despite the ban,” Mr. Pavel continued this morning, “we haven’t seen a significant drop in user engagement so far, since Russians tend to bypass the ban with VPNs and proxies. We also have been relying on third-party cloud services to remain partly available for our users there.”
“Russia accounts for ~7% of the Telegram user base, and even if we lose that entire market, Telegram’s organic growth in other regions will compensate for this loss within a couple of months,” he explains. “However, it is important for me personally to make sure we do everything we can for our Russian users.”
Not one to back down, Durov wants to work around the situation, “To support internet freedoms in Russia and elsewhere I started giving out bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run socks5 proxies and VPN. I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow. I called this Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally.”