Russia has announced it is lifting restrictions on the use of the Telegram private messenger app.
The messenger has been officially blocked in Russia’s since April 2018 when the tech company refused to provide security services with backdoor encryption keys.
In reality, Russian authorities struggled to enforce the ban, with Telegram moving to hide traffic behind mobile IP addresses. In often clumsy attempts to block access, regulators ended up switching off large chunks of the internet, including banks and even Gmail.
Earlier this week, it was reported a number of government agencies had asked Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media and internet regulator, to lift the formal ban on the messenger to allow them to use it legally.
On its part, Roskomnadzor said the u-turn was made possible by Telegram’s “willingness” to help their efforts to counter terrorism and extremism.
In early June, Pavel Durov, Telegram’s founder said that his team had developed ways to ‘catch and delete extremist and terrorist content.’