In a dispute over access to messages to fight terrorism, a Russian court order blocked the messaging app Telegram on Friday.
The ruling by Moscow judge Yulia Smolina imposes restrictions on access to Telegram and stops providing technical support for message transmission in order to meet the requirements of Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor.
The decision is effective immediately and will remain in force until Telegram developers provide the Russian Federal Security Service or FSB with an encryption key, she stated.
The FSB has claimed that international terrorist groups actively use Telegram's secret chats with high levels of encryption. The app was used to prepare the April 2017 St. Petersburg attack, the FSB added.
The FSB asked Telegram to provide the encryption key for decoding messages but it refused, saying users’ personal data is protected.