A man poses with a smartphone in front of a screen showing the Telegram logosюReuters
Russia’s telecom and IT watchdog, Roskomnadzor, will block the Telegram messenger in Russia if it refuses to comply with the Russian law on organizers of dissemination of information, the head of Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, said, TASS reports.
"There is one demand and it is simple: to fill in a form with information on the company that controls Telegram," Zharov said in an open letter.
"And to officially send it to Roskomnadzor to include this data in the registry of organizers of dissemination of information."
Roskomnadzor has not received any response from the messenger’s administration yet, Zharov stressed.
"In case of refusal to fulfill the obligations on dissemination of information by the organizer, Telegram shall be blocked in Russia. Until we receive the needed information," the service’s head said.
"The time given to Roskomnadzor under law to take this decision is running out."
According to Roskomnadzor, the inclusion of the messenger in the list just means that Telegram is ready to operate under Russian law.
Telegram’s current legal status in Russia will not change. In case Telegram provides the necessary information and Roskomnadzor includes it in the list, the company will be obliged to keep and, if needed, share with law enforcement services users’ chats and keys to them.