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Head of Russia’s censorship agency marks a year of blocking Telegram: ‘You probably notice on occasion that it’s slower to load’

Alexander Zharov, the head of the Russian government’s censorship agency, said that a year of attempts to block the social app Telegram had resulted in the application operating more slowly within Russia’s borders.

“As before, we have been locating IP addresses where Telegram is located and blocking them. You probably notice on occasion that it’s slower to load on your smartphone,” Roskomnadzor’s leader said.

Zharov also admitted that, on the whole, his agency’s mechanisms for blocking Telegram are ineffective. He added that “it’s too soon to jump to conclusions.” Though Telegram is legally blocked in Russia, many of the country’s government agencies and officials still run official channels on the app.

Roskomnadzor began blocking Telegram on April 16, 2018, to enforce an existing court ruling. Initially, the agency’s attempts to block specific IP addresses caused technical failures in a wide range of sites unrelated to Telegram.