Telegram says Apple has prevented it from updating its messaging app since April

“Apple has prevented the Telegram messaging service from updating globally ever since Russia ordered Apple to remove the service from its stores, Telegram’s CEO and founder said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “Two protest rallies were organised in Russia’s capital this month, with the demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans and carrying signs against what they called internet censorship, following Moscow’s decision to block the popular messaging service. Russia’s Federal Security Service(FSB) has said it needs to guard against security threats such as terrorist attacks. Telegram is challenging the block in Russian courts.”

“‘Russia banned Telegram on its territory in April because we refused to provide decryption keys for all our users’ communications to Russia’s security agencies. We believe we did the only possible thing, preserving the right of our users to privacy in a troubled country,’ Pavel Durov, a pioneer of Russian social media, said on his official Telegram Channel,” Reuters reports. “While Russia makes up only 7 percent of Telegram’s user base, Apple is restricting updates for all Telegram users around the world, Durov said. ‘As a result, we’ve also been unable to fully comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for our EU-users by the deadline of May 25, 2018. We are continuing our efforts to resolve the situation,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, about what, or whom, is the Russian government afraid that Russian citizens might be talking about in private and why?

Russia wants Apple to pull Telegram off Russian App Store – or else – May 30, 2018
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Apple is under fire for moving iCloud data to China; Amnesty International blasts move – February 28, 2018
Apple moves to store iCloud keys in China, raising human rights fears – February 26, 2018
Apple’s China lesson: Think different, but not too different – February 26, 2018
Apple in talks for first order from a Chinese chipmaker – February 14, 2018
Apple utterly dominates the premium smartphone market in China with 85% share – February 7, 2018
Apple warns users who created Apple IDs overseas on dodging China’s new data law – January 12, 2018
How U.S. iCloud users can ensure their data isn’t migrated to state-owned servers in China – January 11, 2018
Apple sets date to turn over cloud operations to a state-owned data center in China – January 10, 2018
U.S. Senate Republican Marco Rubio hits Tim Cook for kowtowing to China – December 13, 2017
Apple CEO Cook kissed the ring in China because he had no choice – December 4, 2017
Apple CEO Cook in China: Internet must have security, humanity – December 4, 2017
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Patrick Leahy blast Apple CEO Tim Cook for removing VPN apps from App Store in China – October 20, 2017
Apple issues statement regarding removal of VPN apps from China App Store – July 31, 2017
Apple removes VPN apps from China App Store – July 29, 2017
Apple sets up China data center to meet new cybersecurity rules – July 12, 2017
Analyst: China iPhone sales are pivotal for Apple – June 26, 2017
In bid to improve censorship, China to summon Apple execs to discuss stricter App Store oversight – April 20, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook named recipient of Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award – February 2, 2017


  1. I do not know why Apple is allegedly preventing Telegram from updating its app outside of Russia while the lawsuit is ongoing. Would that be so hard? What is the risk?

    This is yet another example of why end-to-end encryption is critically important. The right to free speech also includes the right to private speech, in my opinion. The ability to privately relate your ideas to others is a right that must be protected at all costs and from all governments, whether seemingly benign and democratic or oppressive and totalitarian.

    This is not simply an issue of “… preserving the right of our users to privacy in a troubled country.” Those encryption keys should not be given to any government. In fact, the ideal encryption scheme should not include a back door – take a lesson from Apple.

    1. I hope Apple provides an explanation ASAP. Complying with Russian law inside Russia is one thing. Bowing to Russian pressure outside that country is something else entirely.

  2. He said WHAT?!

    Possibly, Pavel Durov was referring to users outside of the USA, rather than ‘users around the world’. The latest version of Telegram was released on Tuesday, May 29th at both the developer’s website AND the Apple Mac App Store. That’s two days before the Thursday quote from Telegram’s CEO and founder.

    So HUH?

    It would not be unusual for Apple to squelch apps that make local governments unhappy. Apple has sadly removed all VPN service apps in China that make surveillance MaNiaCaL China: Criminal Nation all whiny and bitchy. Sad times. 😛

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