Nikolay Nikiforov, Minister of Communications and Mass Media of Russia, stated that the Viber messenger application may be blocked in Russia, TASS reports.
According to Nikiforov, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) must decide on this “specific” issue. According to him, responsibility for making the decision does not fall on the Ministry of Communications. However, FSB can take the issue to court if they encounter problems obtaining an encryption key. In that situation, the court case would be won, which is what happened in a similar case against the Telegram messenger app.
On April 13, Tagansky District Court decided to immediately block Telegram. The Court gave Roskomnadzor (Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) a dossier of the decision, which served as a “signal” to begin blocking the application, Aleksandr Zharov, Head of the Roskomnadzor, stated. Three days later, Roskomnadzor began sending telecommunications operators requests to restrict access to Telegram and block millions of IP-addresses used by the messenger application.
Meanwhile, Telegram is up and running. According to the Internet ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev, it is impossible to block Telegram since it is an application and not a website, and therefore its IP addresses cannot be blocked.