14:46 GMT +315 December 2019
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    Moscow Arbitration Court Records First Lawsuit Over Telegram Messenger Ban

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow's Court of Arbitration recorded the first lawsuit over the losses incurred by a business because of the Russian communications watchdog's attempt to block the Telegram messenger, according to the court's documents.

    The company Investory is seeking damages from Roskomnadzor and the Russian Finance Ministry, claiming that the watchdog blocked some of the company's servers hosted abroad in its attempts to ban access to the messenger.

    The five-million ruble ($80,480) lawsuit was filed with the court on Friday, but proceedings have not begun yet.

    READ MORE: 'Putin Shirtless Challenge' Moves on as Durov Posts Torso Amid Telegram Row

    According to a representative of the company's CEO Alexander Vikharev, clients were unable to register on the firm's website. The amount stated in the lawsuit is based on the reputational damages the firm suffered, according to Vikharev.

    Telegram Adjusting to Blocking

    Earlier in the day, Russian Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev noted that Telegram would keep adjusting to blocking mechanisms.

    "But at the same time, we have to make conclusions on what legal and technical requirements there should be for the owners of resources, for software-makers in order to form security," he added.

    According to the ombudsman, the owners of Internet platforms did not condone terrorism or criminal activities.

    "Without any decisions [of the authorities], Pavel Durov [the creator of Telegram] was blocking this kind of channels in Telegram," Marinichev said.

    Roskomnadzor began blocking IP addresses used by Telegram earlier this month, after the messenger refused to give encryption keys to the Russian security services amid concerns that the messenger could be used by terrorists or criminals.

    READ MORE: Russian Media Watchdog Blocks Some Google IPs in Bid to Stop Telegram Messenger

    As the Telegram messenger uses external IP addresses in an attempt to bypass the blocking by the Russian watchdog, some other services and addresses might potentially be affected by the ban.

    Russian digital giant Yandex, some of whose IP addresses were briefly added to Roskomnadzor's list of banned resources on Friday, noted that the company did not consider the situation "normal."

    READ MORE: 'Putin Shirtless Challenge' Moves on as Durov Posts Torso Amid Telegram Row

    The watchdog explained that the users temporarily lost access to some Yandex services, Russia's major social network VKontakte and other platforms because of the technical particularities of the blocking mechanism.


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