Apple has apparently relented and let encrypted text and voice service Telegram proceed with an update to make its app compliant with Europe's new GDPR privacy protections, just days after CEO Pavel Durov alleged Apple was preventing Telegram from releasing updates worldwide at the behest of Russian censors.
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It's been a few weeks since a Russian court ordered ISPs to block encrypted messaging service Telegram - and the country proceeded to break its own internet to enforce the ruling. Google and Amazon made changes that help the ban, and Russia has moved to blocking VPNs. Now, privacy advocates are asking US Congress to step in and persuade American tech to help out.
Telegram has been putting up an impressive fight against the governments of Russia and Iran in high-profile efforts to censor the messaging service over the last few weeks. But we've heard little about its fellow encrypted messaging app Signal. Both services have used an anti-censorship technique called "domain fronting" to get around tyrants - and now, Google and Amazon say that's no longer an option.
Iranian government officials see the popular messaging app Telegram as a vehicle for anti-establishment dissent and have been trying to convince users to switch over to Soroush, a new app developed in the nation. The app comes equipped with a unique number of emojis, including a woman in a chador holding up a sign proclaiming "death to America", the BBC reports.
Since Russia banned the Telegram messaging app, the government has embarked on a campaign of hitting itself in the face. The functionality of the Russian internet has been hobbled for two weeks as regulators wildly block IP addresses and on Thursday a Kremlin spokesperson admitted he still uses Telegram. "It works for me, and there's nothing to it," he said.
The Russian government ordered the Telegram messaging app be banned last week due to its failure to turn over encryption keys to authorities. But as the app's founder promised, Telegram is still working. Now, Russia is breaking the internet in the country by blocking millions of IP addresses in a scattershot attempt to quash the service.
On Friday a court ruled that Telegram should be blocked inside Russia due to its failure to turn over its encryption keys. In 2016, Russia passed "anti-terror laws" that require messaging services give authorities the ability to decrypt communications. Telegram founder Pavel Durov has defied the order and now says he has a workaround.
The government of Iran has shut down mobile internet access and blocked apps including Telegram and Instagram after days of protests that exploded into widespread civil unrest. According to the Washington Post, at least two people are reported dead during the demonstrations, "the largest in Iran since an uprising over disputed election results shook the country eight years ago."