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Russia to Apple: Kill Telegram crypto-chat – or the App Store gets it

We know you’re busy, Mr Cook, but please reply before we become … unpleasant

Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has written to Apple with a request to remove messaging app Telegram from its App Store. Or else.

The regulator’s notice about the letter also requests that Apple cease “sending its service push notifications to Russian users.”

The notice says the letter also includes the following:

To avoid possible actions by Roskomnadzor to disrupt the functioning of the above services, Apple, Inc. we ask you to inform us in the shortest possible time about further actions of the Company aimed at solving these problem issues.

Roskomnadzor’s already blocked IP addresses used by Google Cloud and AWS in its pursuit of Telegram. The letter presumably threatens similar actions.

Russia’s tried to ban Telegram for several months, citing its use by terrorist groups as justification and securing court orders to access its encryption keys. Telegram has declined to comply, saying it doesn’t have the keys and never did!

The ban has been interpreted as politically motivated rather than a national security effort, as opponents of the government are thought to use the app to organise.

If they do, they leave themselves open to observation as Telegram’s been shown to be insecure and susceptible to credential-harvesting malware that – surprise! – originates in Russia. ®

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