Russian Gov’t Blocks 20 Mln IP Addresses To Ban Telegram, App Still Operational

After announcing the ban of encrypted messenger Telegram last Friday, Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor (RKN) began blocking the app Monday, April 16.

In order to ban access to the messenger, the authority has blocked nearly 20 mln Google and Amazon Internet Protocol (IP) addresses as of April 17, but Russia’s Telegram users say that the app still works without applying any additional means of circumventing the block, such as proxy and VPN services.

While the crypto community’s go-to messenger app is still operating in Russia, the users of dozens services, which are not related to Telegram, have complained about crashes associated with blocked IP addresses. Viber messaging app experienced connectivity problems, which affected calls shortly after RKN began blocking.

Edward Snowden, world-famous advocate for user data security and anonymity, expressed outrage over RKN’s activity in April 17 tweet, considering the move as a “morally and technically ignorant censorship effort,” that has “broken Russia’s internet.”

According to local news outlets TJournal and Mediazona, the users reported crashes of various services such as Microsoft and Windows updates; gaming networks like Playstation Network, Battle.net, and Xbox Live; online games by publisher Wargaming, Android apps client APK Mirror; video streaming services Netflix and Twitch.tv; online retailers, and many others.

Local media reported that RKN’s blocking activity affected its own website. RKN denies its involvement in network crashes of third-party Internet resources.

Some services could suffer considerable losses due to network crashes allegedly caused by RKN. Skyeng online school could lose up to 30 mln rubles or $480,000 in one evening due to network failures. According to local media outlet