Moscow authorities allow rally against blocking of Telegram
The mass action will be held on the Sakharov Avenue on April 30.
The Moscow City Hall has approved a rally of opponents of Telegram’s blocking, the city administration reported to RBC. The mass action will be held on the Sakharov Avenue on April 30.
“Five thousand people were announced for participation,” said Yelena Romanova, spokeswoman for the regional security and anti-corruption department of Moscow, told RBC. The procession will be held from 14:00 to 15:00, from 15:00 to 16:00 a rally will take place on the Sakharov Avenue.
Information on the approval of the rally also appeared on the website of the event. The organizer of the rally is the Libertarian Party of Russia. “The blocking of Telegram is a national disgrace: no state claiming leadership in the 21st century should impede the development of its own technologies and digital progress,” the organizers said in a public statement.
"Do not forget to grab a couple of paper airplanes with you,” it is said at the end of the message. This proposal refers to the call of the founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, who previously asked users to demonstrate their protest against the blocking using paper airplanes – the symbol of the messenger. Durov's call was distributed through notifications in Telegram itself, also the messenger's creator published it on his personal page on the social network VKontakte. The launch of airplanes took place on Sunday, April 22.
The blocking of Telegram in Russia began on April 16. Its reason was the failure of the messenger's administration to provide the FSB with encryption keys to users’ correspondence. Pavel Durov called the requirements of the special service violation of the Russian Constitution. However, the court agreed with the position of the FSB and, despite Telegram's retaliation, decided to block its work.
The blocking of the messenger in Russia is handled by Roskomnadzor. Contrary to the actions of the authorities, on the first day of blocking, its use, according to the analytical company SimilarWeb, increased by 27%. Telegram still remains available for a significant number of users from mobile devices and personal computers.
However, blocking of the IP-addresses used by Telegram resulted in the failure of a number of Internet services. In particular, the IP-addresses of cloud services of Google and Amazon were blocked. As a result, about 400 sites and services in Russia functioned erratically.
Head of the Russian Anti-Monopoly Service Igor Artemyev expressed doubts about the Roskomnadzor’s ability to completely block the messenger. “I sincerely wish Roskomnadzor to succeed, as there is a court decision. But I do not really believe that this will happen,” commented the official on the issue. The fact that the Telegram messenger continues to work, albeit with interruptions, was also sounded by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.