Early today, Roskomnadzor—Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media—moved to enforce a new Russian federal law blocking the use of Telegram, the encrypted chat and social networking application that has become the favored tool of Russia’s political opposition and journalists. The censorship began with Roskomnadzor instructing Internet service providers to block requests to Internet Protocol addresses of Telegram’s servers.
But as users flocked to virtual private networks and proxy services to reach Telegram from their mobile devices and computers—or resorted to building their own—government censors added large swaths of IP addresses to the block list. And according to multiple sources within Russia, ISPs there are now blocking large chunks of IP addresses associated with cloud services from Amazon and Google.
Alexander Zharov, the chief of Roskomnadzor, confirmed that Amazon’s addresses were being blocked “due to the fact that the Telegram messenger started using them to bypass the lock in Russia,” RT reported.
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