Facebook may be banned in Russian Federation

Alexander Zharov

The authorities also blocked a significant number of Amazon and Google IP addresses, claiming that Telegram was using them in an attempt to get round the ban.

The Telegram logo is seen on a screen of a smartphone in this picture illustration taken April 13, 2018.

Instagram, developed by Pavel Durov, was banned in his native Russian Federation on Monday morning, when authorities asked mobile service providers to block access to the messaging service.

Russia's attempts to ban access to the Telegram messaging service threaten to drag US tech giants including Alphabet and Amazon into the war with founder Pavel Durov as he turns to proxy servers to bypass the blocking measures.

Some users have circumvented the block by using virtual private networks, which make it seem as though they were accessing the internet from another country.

Telegram's Russian founder fought back, offering to pay administrators of proxy servers in bitcoins to help bypass restrictions and saying he plans to spend millions of dollars on what he called "Digital Resistance".

Roskomnadzor warned Facebook of a possible blockade in the end of 2017 unless the company agrees to store personal data of Russians on domestic servers, which, according to Zharov, Facebook has failed to do so far.

The FSB has said that Telegram is widely used by terrorists.

The U.S. companies did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request from Reuters for comment on the Russian move.

Durov, a pioneer of social media in Russian Federation, left the country in 2014 and has become a vocal critic of the Kremlin's policies on internet freedom.

The regulator has also asked Apple and Google to pull Telegram from their Russian app stories.

Most of Russia's state bodies have migrated their Telegram channels to TamTam, a messenger owned by Kremlin-linked oligarch Alisher Usmanov's Mail.ru Group, in compliance with last week's court order.

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