Published: Mon, April 23, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Google Services Blocked in Russia Following Telegram Ban

Google Services Blocked in Russia Following Telegram Ban

Russian Federation has ordered the popular Telegram messaging app to shut down because it won't share its encryption key with intelligence agencies.

Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecommunication regulator, said Sunday that despite a court order Google has not complied with a request to prevent Telegram from using its IP addresses in order to continue operate.

A court in Moscow banned Telegram earlier this month after the company refused to provide encryption keys to the FSB, a Russian security agency.

"We are aware of reports that some users in Russian Federation are unable to access some Google products, and are investigating those reports", said a Google spokesperson in an emailed response.

Over the weekend, it added a number of Google IP addresses to its blacklist of banned websites and applications that, it claimed, violated Russia's recent Telegram ban - wreaking havoc with the online services of businesses across the country.

The RKN has blocked close to 18m IP addresses in Russian Federation in an effort to ban Telegram, which has been hopping between addresses once RKN revokes access. Together with the Telegram servers, the departments listed about 18 million IP addresses of Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Digital Ocean (which the messenger used to bypass the blocking) to the forbidden sites registry.

Roskomnadzor met with the heads of Russia's largest internet service providers to discuss the further strategy for its fight against Telegram, Kommersant reported last week.

"They can't have tourists coming and realizing Google doesn't work in Russia", Ilya Andreyev was quoted as saying.

Zello ceased its activities when RKN got wise to Zello's ways and chose to start blocking entire subnetworks of IP addresses to avoid so many hops, and Amazon's AWS and Google Cloud kindly asked Zello to stop as other services also started to get blocked. Russia first blocked almost 16m IP addresses five days back in a massive operation against the Telegram messaging app for Russian online censorship.

The agency explained: "Due to this, Roscomnadzor has included in the registry of banned information a number of IP addresses of Google, which are used by Telegram to carry out its activity in Russian Federation".

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