On Friday, April 13, a Russian court issued a ban on Telegram, a secure messaging application. The application allows users to communicate via encrypted messages that cannot be read by third parties. Telegram is popular with journalists and members of Russia’s political opposition. The ban will reportedly take effect immediately though Telegram is likely to appeal the decision over the next month.
Russian authorities have threatened to ban Telegram since 2017 because of the company's refusal to give officials access to users’ data. The government has stated that they need Telegram’s decryption keys so it can read user messages as part of its anti-terror measures. Telegram has maintained this would be an invasion to the privacy of their users.
Individuals present in Russia are advised to monitor developments to the situation and obey all local regulations.