28 May 2018 18:05

Apple has 1 month to respond to demand to remove Telegram from AppStore - Roskomnadzor

MOSCOW. May 28 (Interfax) - Apple has one month to report on its measures to stop offering Telegram on the AppStore, Alexander Zharov, the head of the Russian telecommunications watchdog (Roskomnadzor), said.

"We sent them [Apple] a legally binding letter and are awaiting their legally binding reply. Because Apple, like other transnational companies, is a company with a high degree of red tape, we expect the reply within a month," Zharov told Interfax on Monday.

Asked what action the agency will take should the company refuse or not reply, Zharov said, "For now, I would not like to forecast further actions."

"Obviously, Apple, like any other legal entity, is one of the 'other legal entities' referred to in the court ruling on Telegram, compelled to take steps to restrict Telegram operations inside Russia. Once the answer arrives, we'll know what to do," Zharov said.

On Monday, Roskomnadzor stated that it had written to Apple asking it "to stop offering Telegram on the AppStore in Russia and sending push notifications."

The company must "inform the agency as soon as possible about its further actions to resolve these problematic issues," or face "possible action by the agency" over violation of the functioning of AppStore, Roskomnadzor said.

On April 13, a court ruled in favor of Roskomnadzor's lawsuit demanding that Telegram be blocked because of the company's refusal to hand over decryption codes to the Federal Security Service. However, Telegram can still be accessed in Russia, albeit with periodic outages.