Telegram says Apple cleared path for app update

June 2, 2018
A man holds a poster reading "RKN (Roskomnadzor - the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) read the constitution!" during an opposition rally in central Moscow on May 13, 2018

Telegram said Friday that Apple cleared the path for an updated version of the secure messaging app despite a ban in Russia.

Telegram chief Pavel Durov thanked Apple and the California-based company's top executive Tim Cook from his verified Twitter account for "letting us deliver the latest version of @telegram to millions of users, despite the recent setbacks."

A day earlier, Telegram accused Apple of blocking its updates for users worldwide after Russian authorities imposed a ban on Telegram for refusing to hand over keys to decrypt messages.

In April, a Moscow court banned the popular free app following a long-running battle between authorities and Telegram, which has a reputation for securely encrypted communications.

Telegram refused to provide Russian authorities with a way to read communications over its network as Moscow pushes to increase surveillance of internet activities.

Russian authorities ordered domestic internet service providers to block the app, causing disruption of other services but failing to shut down Telegram in the country.

On Monday, Russia's communications watchdog said it had requested Apple block push notifications for Telegram users in Russia, which would mean users would not receive alerts for new messages and thus render it less useful.

The watchdog also requested Apple no longer make the app available for download in Russia.

Telegram lets people exchange messages, stickers, photos and videos in groups of up to 5,000 people. It has attracted more than 200 million users since its launch by Durov and his brother Nikolai in 2013.

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