Russia has followed through on the plans to impose a ban on Telegram, a messaging app, with a court in Moscow approving the said move.
For months, the rival of WhatsApp has been under the scrutiny of the authorities in Russian, as the Kremlin aims to have access to encrypted communications.
Earlier this month, Roskomnadzor, a media watchdog, sought to limit the access to the said app following the failure of the firm to give access to encrypted messages to the FSB security service of Russia before a deadline on the 4th of April.
In 2016, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, introduced anti-terror laws which required technology firms to give encryption keys to the authorities. However, Telegram has publicly refused to hand the information over.
On Friday, a judge approved the request during a hearing that was only 18 minutes long. The said ban is expected the come during the coming month after Telegram has already exhausted the appeals process, and will pave the way for the app to be banned across the whole of Russia.
Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, commanded his lawyers not to attend the said hearing, saying that it was “an outspoken farce” and he refuses to legitimize the process with their presence.
Telegram has approximately 9.5m users in Russia, and it claims to have more than 200m users worldwide.