The head of Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor told the St. Petersburg Economic Forum that he has “irrefutable proof” that all recent terrorist attacks in Russia and abroad were coordinated through the Telegram messenger.
“The proof is irrefutable. All of the latest terrorist attacks committed in our country and abroad have been coordinated through the Telegram messenger. This is why, when choosing between convenience and security, I personally choose security,” Aleksandr Zharov was quoted as saying by Interfax.
The official stated that the demand of Russias Federal Security Service (FSB) that Telegram hand over encryption keys to user traffic on demand was completely justified. He added that a similar situation developed around the Zello internet walkie-talkie, which is also currently banned in Russia.
In mid-April, Roskomnadzor issued an order to internet providers restricting access to web resources used by Telegram, which lost a court battle with the security services over keys to its clients encrypted correspondences. Russian law requires that owners of internet companies keep records of their clients traffic and hand over encryption keys to security officers on demand.
Telegram representatives insist that handing over of the encryption keys is technically impossible and refuse to comply with the law.
Since the start of the procedure, Roskomnadzor has blocked millions of IP addresses that were used by Telegram, and about 80 VPN and proxy services that were used in Russia to get access to Telegram. However, the messenger continues to migrate to new IP addresses and remains accessible to this day.