Russia orders immediate block of Telegram messaging app

A Russian court has ruled that the application of Telegram messages must be blocked in the country. The ruling follows months of battles between Telegram and Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecoms watchdog. The Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) wants to access the data of Telegram users by exchanging encryption keys, but Telegram has refused to comply even after a court ruling.

The Russian news agency Tass reports that the courier service will be "immediately blocked" after the last court ruling, and that the ban will be in effect until Telegram provides the decryption keys to the FSB. However, it is not clear how immediate the ban will be. The Financial Times reports that the ban will likely take place once Telegram has appealed over the next month.

Russia implemented strict anti-terrorism laws in 2016, which required messaging services to provide authorities with the ability to decrypt messages. Telegram has been challenging these laws. The founder and CEO of Telegram, Pavel Durov, has not yet made public comments on the ban, but FT reports that he removed his lawyers from today's hearing after the court appointed him with 24 hours of anticipation without prior notice.