26 Dec 2018 18:29

Head of Duma's IT committee calls on Telegram founder Durov to engage in dialogue with public authorities

MOSCOW. Dec 26 (Interfax) - To ensure the uninterrupted and high-quality functioning of Telegram in Russia, the messenger's founder, Pavel Durov, should enter into dialogue with the Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor, according to the head of State Duma's Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies, and Communication, Leonid Levin.

"It is impossible to really develop services in Russia without any dialogue with state agencies and regulators," Levin said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"They can be developed, of course, but only up to a point," he said. "In this situation, in the context of the development of the digital economy, with bigger and bigger issues going to the Web, it is simply impossible to let these issues go without the possibility of dialogue, of exchange. This is a utopia," Levin said.

"It's left to us to hope that, understanding the seriousness and the quantity of users, Mr. Durov will eventually act not as a revolutionary, but as someone actually interested in Telegram's uninterrupted and quality work in Russia," he said.

"Now access to Telegram must be blocked under a court ruling, but we are seeing today that in fact, the procedure itself is not effective, unfortunately," he said.

"And in this regard, I think it is in the interests of all the sides to seek dialogue. But dialogue cannot be pursued by one side. Roskomnadzor is ready for dialogue [...] but Telegram is not very keen to [maintain dialogue]," Levin said.