Russia’s state telecommunications regulator said on Monday it had begun blocking access to Telegram messenger after the company refused to comply with an order to give Russian state security access to its users’ secret messages.
The watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said in a statement on its website that it had sent telecoms operators a notification about blocking access to Telegram inside Russia.
The service, set up by a Russian entrepreneur, has more than 200 million global users and is ranked as the world’s ninth most popular mobile messaging app.
A Roskomnadzor official said it would take several hours to complete the operation to block access, Interfax news agency said.
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