Russia threatens to clamp down on Facebook

The worldwide social media app could be banned in Russia
The worldwide social media app could be banned in Russia
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By Mark Armstrong with Reuters
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After its attempts to block messaging app Telegram, Facebook could be next

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As Russia attempts to block access to the popular messenger service Telegram, it is also considering clamping down on Facebook.

In an interview with the Izvestia newspaper, the chief of the country's communications regulator said that before the end of the year Facebook will be inspected to check it is abiding by Russian rules.

Alexander Zharov said data on its citizens must be kept on Russian servers and all material prohibited by the government has to be removed. If the regulations are not followed, he said they will consider blocking Facebook.

Zharov insists the Roskomnadzor agency is doing well trying to block Telegram. It has been blacklisting IP addresses mostly from Google and Amazon. The regulator is threatening to ban the two tech giants if they keep on providing services to Telegram.

Company founder and CEO, Pavel Durov, said on Friday that countries like Russia use their influence on the IT sector to violate human rights and earn money.

The statement was published on his official Telegram channel in response to the ban on the app.

The intelligence services are demanding access to Telegram users' messages because they say it will help prevent terrorism.

As a part of its services, Telegram allows its 200 million global users, including senior Russian government officials, to communicate via encrypted messages which cannot be read by third parties.

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