Since April 2018, Telegram messaging service has been facing challenges on updating its app following Russia’s order for Apple to block the app from its store. According to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Telegram poses dangers on the country’s security efforts particularly against the terrorism activities. Telegram has taken the matter to the courts.
Russia barred Telegram operations on its land after it allegedly declined to intercept its decryption keys for all its users’ communications to the security agencies cutting of over 40 million users in Russia. Roskimnadzor, Russia’s state regulator ordered Apple to block push notifications for Telegram users and to bar it from being used in the country.
User Rights To Privacy
According to Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram App, the company is firm on preserving the rights of its customers particularly in the trouble country like Russia. Recently, the company held protest rallies in Russia’s capital with demonstrators singing the anti-government slogans against what is called ‘internet censorship’. Apple declined to comment on the matter.
Unfortunately, though Telegram has only a small fraction of user base (7%) in Russia, Apple has blocked its updates for its users not only in Russian territory but across the entire world. Consequently, Telegram has been unable to comply with the ongoing General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for its EU users, which had a deadline of May 25, 2018. GDPR is the European Union regulation body that governs data protection and privacy for all citizens within the region.
Collaborating With Governments To Infringe on Users’ Privacy
Apple has been accused of helping governments to intercept internet users’ communications for malicious activities. Last year, Apple negotiated with the China’s government to remove apps from its App Store that blocked the security agencies from accessing users’ data through digital private networks. However, Apple has denied the allegations that it collaborates with governments but instead, it focuses on enhancing privacy and encrypted communication.
In 2016, Apple was taken to court in the US for refusing to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation to access the encrypted messages after two attackers killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
According to the regulator, the messaging app has the capacity to enable terrorist activities in the country. The Russian government also partially blocked Gmail and Google Search after it alleged that the tech giant is allowing users to continue using the service of blocking the government from accessing the private conversations. Today, giant tech firms have been accused of supporting governments to violate people’s rights.