Russia Looking to Lift Telegram Ban

The messaging app was banned in 2018, but can be accessed easily.

Russia is considering lifting the ban on encrypted messaging app Telegram due to its usage for propagating messages related to Coronavirus pandemic.

Reported by kommersant.ru on Wednesday, two deputies at the State Duma have prepared a bill to lift the ban of the app in the country.

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Despite the ban imposed in 2018, Telegram has a massive user base in Russia. The country earlier made multiple attempts to block the platform, but failed.

“In most cases, Telegram works for Russian users without any hindrance. There is a wide number of free services that allow to easily bypass the ban. Therefore, further declarative ban of the messenger is damaging the prestige of the authority of the State, not the development of Telegram,” the draft bill stated.

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The deputies argued that the messaging platform has become an “official service” for raising awareness by the authorities about the pandemic. Even offices in Moscow are using Telegram to spread crucial information about the pandemic to the public.

The draft bill has been sent to the Prime Minister’s office as well as to the Ministry of Communications.

However, the deputies did not discuss the prospect with the messaging platform or even with representatives at other factions of the State Duma.

What will be the fate of Gram?

Meanwhile, Telegram is struggling as the US regulator blocked the launch of its digital currency which, according to its commitment to investors, should be distributed by the end of this month.

The company already delayed the launch once from October to April, but the scenario is still not in its favor. Telegram is not seeking permission to distribute the tokens to non-US investors only. Notably, the token sale was not open to the US investor, however, many gained the token from third parties.

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