Google Services Blocked in Russia Following Telegram Ban

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Russian federal executive body Roskomnadzor has banned a few Google IP addresses that permits the cloud-based instant messaging service Telegram.

Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecommunication regulator, said Sunday that despite a court order Google has not complied with a request to prevent Telegram from using its IP addresses in order to continue operate. Monday early morning Roskomnadzor started blocking Telegram after a court decision came to do the same as messenger denied giving encryption keys which are must to decode data. Some turn to VPNs to access that content anyway, but it turns out that Telegram hasn't needed to rely on that workaround to get used.

The agency explained: "Due to this, Roscomnadzor has included in the registry of banned information a number of IP addresses of Google, which are used by Telegram to carry out its activity in Russian Federation".

Russian Federation has started blocking some Google services, accusing the search company of helping Telegram bypass a ban on its encrypted messaging service.

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Gmail, Google Search and some Android app push notifications are affected, according to TechCrunch. So far, its partners have not caved in but now that they're going after Google's own services, we may see the tech giant asking Telegram to stop with the hopping, just like what happened with a smaller app called Zello (which apparently has now been restored).

Some believe that one outcome could be the regulator playing out an elaborate game of chicken with Telegram and the rest of the internet companies that are in some way aiding and abetting it, spurred in part by Russia's larger profile and how such blocks would appear to worldwide audiences. Telegram has been using a technique that allows it to "hop" to a new IP address when the one it's using is blocked by the Russian censors.

"We are aware of reports that some users in Russia are unable to access some Google products, and are investigating those reports", said Google Russia in a Twitter statement. Telegram uses a built-in feature to redirect traffic and bypass the blocking, making it available to most Russians, while Roskomnadzor has blocked over 18 million IP-addresses Telegram is using to bypass the government's action.

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