Russia's censor says Telegram is treating the rest of the Internet like a ‘human shield‘
Alexander Zharov, the head of Russia’s federal censor, Roskomnadzor, said on Friday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that the government’s decision to block the instant messenger Telegram is justified because federal agents have reliably established that all recent terrorist attacks in Russia and the near abroad were coordinated through Telegram.
Zharov also accused Telegram of using other online services as “human shields” by redirecting its traffic to their servers and forcing Roskomnadzor to disrupt a wide array of websites, when it cuts access to the new IP addresses Telegram adopts. Zharov claimed that Telegram’s functionality has degraded by 15 to 30 percent in Russia, thanks to Roskomnadzor’s efforts, which he says are ongoing.
Zharov added that the Federal Security Service has expressed similar concerns about the push-to-talk walkie-talkie app Zello, which Roskomnadzor banned in April 2017, when Zello refused to store all application messages and user data in Russia.