ROCIT: Watchdog promises to shut Telegram-used systems selectively
MOSCOW/PONIZOVKA, Crimea, Apr 26 (PRIME) -- The Russian communications service has promised not to block large networks in a rotating mode, but approach the blocking of popular messenger Telegram more target-wisely, Sergei Grebennikov, director of non-commercial Regional Public Center of Internet Technologies (ROCIT), said late on Wednesday.
“The communications service underlines that they will not add to the register of banned information large sub-systems but will approach blockings more selectively,” Grebennikov said after a meeting of the authority with representatives of the IT industry regarding the blocking of Telegram, which had caused multiple troubles on third-party resources because of the closure of some IP addressed of Amazon and Google, which Telegram uses to skirt the closure.
On Monday, ROCIT agreed with the service to cooperate in checking of users’ complaints about issues with some resources.
“The thing is that all companies and users suffered from these blockings express themselves only in posts on social networks and unilateral requests to the authority, and there is no dialogue with state entities. This is why we organized a meeting to exchange opinions and tell about the emerged problems,” Grebennikov said.
Representatives of the IT industry spoke at the meeting about the necessity of amending the law and the mechanism of blocking of illegal content and services, which is currently applied in the country.
The meeting was attended by people from 25 commercial IT companies and four industry associations. The parties agreed to stay in a close dialogue with the communications service and the most active business representatives.
Grebennikov also said that most of complaints of unavailability of Internet services, which ROCIT had received, were from individuals and about issues with game resources, such as PSN, Fortnite, PUBG, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Epic Games Launcher, and others.
A part of Google services were also unavailable, he said.
The communications service said that jointly with ROCIT it had initiated discussions with Google on its provision of Telegram with IP addressed.
“The federal service continues working contacts with Amazon and Google to stop the provision of IP addresses to Telegram,” the authority’s Deputy Director Vadim Subbotin said. “Interrelation with Google is becoming more constructive and a meaningful dialogue is opened.”
Contacts with Amazon have not given positive results so far, possibly, due to political reasons, Subbotin said.
Under the court decision, the duty to restrict access to Telegram in the country lies not only on the communications service, but also third parties, like hosting providers.
Director of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Igor Artemyev, said he is not certain of success of a complete blocking of Telegram in Russia, but wishes good luck to the communications watchdog.
“I can only express a deep regret. On the whole, if you do something, you should go up to the end. One should be sure 1,000 times, consult experts and go up to the end. The government cannot let itself get into a mess, and it is very sad,” Artemyev said.
“I hope in pursuit of this goal, a powerful hurricane won’t sweep everything away. We are not China to close ourselves. Such a model is possible, but unlikely anyone wants it. I see that the story and the way it is evolving are very detrimental.”