Deputies from Fair Russia Fedot Tumusov, Dmitry Ionin and Alexander Terentyev submitted to the State Duma a bill to end the blocking of Telegram messenger. It was blocked by a court decision in the spring of 2018, but in practice it was not possible to implement this.
Earlier, Fedot Tumusov and Dmitry Ionin stated that Telegram has not only been de facto blocked, but has recently become the “official service” of many government agencies through which they disseminate, among other things, important information about the fight against coronavirus, and unsuccessful attempts to block only inflicted "damage to the prestige of state power".
The bill was sent to the government, including the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media with a request to support it for the successful passage of the initiative. However, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media did not approve the initiative. They expressed concern that, if passed, the bill “could lead to abuse”: dishonest organizers of the dissemination of information on the Internet (instant messengers, websites, etc.) will publish information about the activities of government agencies in order to avoid blockages. It is also noted that the bill does not offer mechanisms to overcome the court decision in 2018, when the Tagansky court of Moscow blocked Telegram at the request of Roskomnadzor due to the fact that service representatives did not provide the FSB with keys to decrypt user messages, the Kommersant newspaper reported . Fedot Tumusov promised to finalize the bill along with deputies and the government.
Telegram founder Pavel Durov recently announced that the number of its users in Russia has already reached 30 million, stressing that despite the de jure blocking, the de facto messenger continues to work. Back in 2018, Pavel Durov warned that it was impossible to block Telegram . He welcomed the initiative of Fedot Tumusov and Dmitry Ionin : “Unlocking would allow thirty million Telegram users to use the service more comfortably. In addition, it could positively affect the country's innovative development and national security”.
It is worth noting that propagandists supporting the policies of the authorities created their own, and quite successful and visited compared to previous attempts to “saddle” LiveJournal and Facebook, the channels in the messenger. But de jure Telegram is still locked.