Yet again, Apple found itself caught between the Russian government and popular mobile messaging application Telegram last week. Telegram, one of the largest mobile messaging applications worldwide, is known for its security and effective cloud-based messaging.
Its founder, Pavel Durov, was also responsible for the top Russian social media site, VK. Based on Facebook, VK was overwhelmingly adopted by many Russians.
Durov’s ownership of VK did not last for long, however, with the Russian government and her allies obtaining control of the company after Durov refused to cooperate with the government on multiple occasions.
In 2011, Russian authorities surrounded his home with demands for the removal of opposition politicians’ pages from VK. In 2014, his refusal to hand over data of Ukranian protestors foreshadowed his dismissal and self-imposed exile from Russia.
With the money from this previous venture, the 33-year-old started Telegram with his vision for freedom and security at the heart of this enterprise. His refusal to hand over encryption codes to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) led to blacklisting by the government, and subsequent efforts to block access to the app by Russian citizens
Just last week, the Russian government demanded that Apple pulled the messaging app from its App Store. Soon after, Pavel Durov announced that Apple’s iOS App Store has been blocking Telegram from sending updates through the App Store.
This had emerged amidst several local ISP’s blockages of Telegram on several IP addresses on Google’s and Amazon’s cloud servers.
However, this reversed just yesterday on Friday. After two months of blocking updates through the App Store, Apple finally allowed roll-outs of app updates to be released.