Telegram is a communication tool and rival to WhatsApp that has courted plenty of controversy over the years. The English-based company but was created by a Russian. However, Russia is pushing to ban Telegram for not giving law enforcement access to conversations.
One of the good/bad things about Telegram is its completely private. It is an aspect of the service that has drawn praise and criticism. For example, the chat app has been accused of being a haven for terrorist planning attacks.
Russia has now asked Apple to block push notifications from Telegram on iPhones. The communications watchdog in the country, Roskomnadzor, as officially made the request to Cupertino.
The regulator says if users cannot get notifications they will eventually leave the service. It is arguably a sound plan. Consider not receiving personal messages on WhatsApp, the program would be almost useless.
Access to Telegram has been blocked in Russia since the start of the year. However, locals have bypassed the ban through VPN services. Authorities say stopping notifications would make the ban more potent.
“In order to avoid possible action by Roskomnadzor for violations of the functioning of the above-mentioned Apple Inc. service, we ask you to inform us as soon as possible about your company's further actions to resolve the problematic issue,” the communications regulator was quoted as saying.
Telegram founder Pavel Durov responded to the regulatory action in a social media post at the time. He said the FSB has also requested total access to decrypt user messages to catch attackers. Durov also accused authorities of going against the Russian constitution.
Will Apple Help?
Apple has yet to respond officially to the request. However, the company is certainly no friend of Telegram. In February, Apple cut the communication app from iOS. Two of its apps removed from Apple's App Store for featuring “inappropriate content”.