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Russian Federation blocks Google, Amazon IP addresses in bid to ban Telegram

Russian Federation blocks Google, Amazon IP addresses in bid to ban Telegram

The country's state communications regulator has said it has blocked 18 sub-networks and a "significant" number of IP addresses owned by Amazon and Google because they were being used by secure messaging app Telegram, which Russian Federation banned this week, reports CNBC.

The Telegram logo is seen on a screen of a smartphone in this picture illustration taken April 13, 2018.

In a statement on Monday, Telegram founder Pavel Durov said the block was unconstitutional, as it infringed Russians' right to privacy of correspondence, and vowed to help users continue using the service. The work of Amazon and Google in Russian Federation is also in question, said Zharov.

"Yesterday Russian authorities started blocking Telegram (popular encrypted messenger) and Amazon (and Google) server IP's country-wide", he wrote in the Reddit post.

Some users have circumvented the block by using virtual private networks, which make it seem as though they were accessing the internet from another country. Amazon's European press office didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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Writing on his Telegram channel, Durov said there had not been a significant drop in users of the service in Russian Federation since the ban took effect because users were using VPNs and proxies to access the messenger.

The FSB has said that Telegram is widely used by terrorists.

What's increasingly a battle of wills between Russian Federation and the internet prompted support for Durov from Edward Snowden, the former US intelligence contractor given asylum by the Kremlin.

Any moves by Google or Amazon to halt Telegram's access to their platforms or to remove its app from their stores would mean "they are witting collaborators in a censorship campaign, not victims of it", Snowden said.

Most of Russia's state bodies have migrated their Telegram channels to TamTam, a messenger owned by Kremlin-linked oligarch Alisher Usmanov's Mail.ru Group, in compliance with last week's court order.