Russia starts blocking Telegram app: report
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The Russian government has begun blocking access to Telegram messenger after the company refused to provide access to the encrypted messages of its users, Reuters reported.

The Russian telecommunications regulator, Roskomnadzor, said in a statement released on Monday that it had notified telecommunication operators about blocking access to Telegram within Russia.

Roskomnadzor is carrying out a decision by a Russian court that ruled on Friday that the messaging company should be blocked for not abiding by Russian regulations, Reuters reported.

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The Russian government argues that it needs access to encrypted messages on Telegram to fight security threats like terrorism.

The company has repeatedly refused to comply with the Russian government’s request, arguing that it would damage the quality of the lives of Russians using the app while not improving the country's security, Reuters reported.

Roskomnadzor said it would take several hours to completely block access, according to Interfax news.

Two of Russia’s biggest service providers have already blocked Telegram.

Widely used in the Middle East and former Soviet Union nations, Telegram is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world.