Published: Tue, April 24, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Russians protest Moscow's Telegram ban with paper planes

Russians protest Moscow's Telegram ban with paper planes

Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have called on Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple to continue supporting Telegram's IP addresses and not remove it from their app stores. A number of other high-profile services have also been affected besides Google, from Slack and Nintendo to SoundCloud and Spotify.

Gmail and Google Search have been partially blocked in Russian Federation after the state's communication watchdog accused the U.S. search engine of helping people continuing to use the banned chat service Telegram in the country.

Young activists have filmed themselves throwing paper airplanes in a show of solidarity with the company after the Russian government banned the app earlier this month.

BBC Monitoring said it had seen reports by users that they were having problems reaching the website and some other unspecified services.

Efforts to cut off access to Telegram in Russian Federation have adversely affected other online services in the country.

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Google IP address ranges have been blacklisted by Russian authorities over the weekend as they attempt to close down all channels by which Russian citizens can download and use Telegram, the encrypted communications app.

On 17 April, the body confirmed it had blocked millions of IP addresses, citing their potential usefulness for Telegram users to circumvent the ban.

In a statement, Google said: "We are aware of reports that some users in Russian Federation are unable to access some Google products, and are investigating those reports".

Roskomnadzor announced Sunday that it had blacklisted an unspecified number of Google IP addresses that Telegram was using to sidestep the ban. Founder of the messenger Pavel Durov assures that Telegram will take all possible measures to bypass the blocking. He said the messaging service would use "built-in methods" to bypass the ban and redirect traffic, but cautioned it may not be available without a virtual private network, or VPN.

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