08:28 GMT +319 August 2019
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    Viber Says Became 'Collateral Victim' of Telegram Blocking in Russia

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Viber is concerned that its Russian users are experiencing connection issues as a communications watchdog has been implementing the court ruling to block Telegram, and vows to restore access to the service soon, Yana Rozhkova, the Viber communications director in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, told Sputnik.

    Since Monday, some users in Russia have experienced problems with access to Viber. The messenger supposes that they are caused by Roskomnadzor’s decision to cut off access to some Amazon and Google IP-addresses that Telegram was using to get around the watchdog's restriction.

    "Due to the latest ruling from Russian authorities on blocking a specific messaging application, some telecom operators are blocking access to a number of Internet provider servers. As a consequence of these measures, Russian users across various online services, including Viber, are experiencing connection issues. We are deeply concerned that our service has become a collateral victim of the situation that adversely affects our users," Rozhkova said.

    She added that the company’s experts were making every effort to restore full access to Viber services "in the shortest amount of time."

    Last week, a Moscow district court authorized Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor to block the Telegram messenger in Russia without waiting for the appeal's consideration. The court pointed out that Telegram would remain blocked in Russia until it provided encryption keys to the Russian authorities, since the messenger could be widely used by terrorists for communication.

    Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said that the messenger would use built-in methods to bypass the restriction.

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