Report: Human rights watchdogs ask Web majors to back up Telegram
MOSCOW, Apr 24 (PRIME) -- Human rights watchdogs from 13 countries have publicly requested Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft to protect Telegram, a popular messenger Russia blocked earlier in April, business daily Kommersant reported on Tuesday, quoting Pavel Chikov, head of human rights group Agora, which acts on Telegram’s behalf at courts.
An open letter was signed by rights advocates from Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Kenia, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US. They “accuse the attack on the Internet in Russia and ask not to cooperate on the matter with Russian authorities,” Chikov said.
“Russia is setting a dangerous precedent that may reach beyond its borders. Restrictive state actions such as these undermine democratic structures in countries where the rule of law of is challenged by rights-infringing surveillance regimes. The right to privacy and to freedom of expression must be rigorously protected as they underpin the fundamental values of free and fair societies,” the letter read.
The Russian communications service started blocking Telegram on April 16 for the messenger’s reluctance to hand over decoding keys to the Federal Security Service. A number of IP addresses of Amazon and Google, which Telegram uses to skirt the closure, were also blocked by the authority, which is said to have caused troubles in work of services.