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Russia serves Apple an ultimatum over Telegram app

Tyrone Stewart

TelegramApple could be set to face the wrath of the Russian government unless it removes the popular messenger app Telegram from the App Store in the region.

Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media – more simply and commonly known as Roskomnadzor – sent a letter to the tech giant, demanding it removes the app. The Russian telecoms regulator added that it also requires Apple to prevent Telegram from sending push notifications to users.

“In order to avoid possible action by Roskomnadzor for violations of the functioning of the above-mentioned Apple Inc. service, we ask you to inform us as soon as possible about your company's further actions to resolve the problematic issue,” the letter says, according to Roskomndazor (in Russian).

Apple has been given a month to reply to the request but Roskomnadzor hasn’t confirmed what actions will be taken if the iPhone maker fails to do so.

The Russian government has been trying to block the Telegram app since April. However, the app, which was founded in Russia, continues to be widely used thanks to VPN services and other workarounds. Although, the Russian government did block 50 VPN and proxy services earlier this month.