A court in Russia ordered the blocking of the messaging app Telegram. This is the result of Pavel Durov, the CEO of Telegram, missing the deadline (4 April) to hand over the encryption keys to Russian security agencies. The internet providers in Russia tried to block Telegram, but this hasn’t been an easy task.

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, stated the app hasn’t seen a significant drop in user engagement since the beginning of the ban. The app was ready for a ban and uses many different security channels to protect its users.

Durov wrote on the Telegram channel:

“For the last 24 hours Telegram has been under a ban by internet providers in Russia. The reason is our refusal to provide encryption keys to Russian security agencies. For us, this was an easy decision. We promised our users 100% privacy and would rather cease to exist than violate this promise.

Despite the ban, we haven’t seen a significant drop in user engagement so far, since Russians tend to bypass the ban with VPNs and proxies. We also have been relying on third-party cloud services to remain partly available for our users there.”

Digital Resistance just started

Pavel Durov intends to give out millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin to individuals and companies who run proxy servers and VPNs. Telegram plays a key role in the crypto community. It has also been called the “cryptocurrency world’s preferred messaging app” by many media outlets.

“I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow. I called this Digital Resistance — a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally,”

Telegram is planning a billion-dollar ICO, raising money via a token sale to develop a cryptocurrency and blockchain platform of its own.

Edward Snowden supports Telegram’s resistance

Edward Snowden, who previously criticized Telegram’s security model, now supports Telegram’s resistance and its leadership against the Russian government’s limiting actions.