Hundreds demand internet freedoms in Moscow rally

Hundreds demand internet freedoms in Moscow rally
By Louise Miner with Reuters
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It's the second protest since Russian authorities banned the Telegram app, a free messaging service, on April 16.


Hundreds of people have rallied in Moscow demanding that the Telegram app be unblocked.

It's the second protest since Russian authorities banned the free messaging service.

The app was blocked on April 16 after the company refused to comply with an order to give Russian state security access to its users’ encrypted messages.

"They are using the fight against terrorists and concerns for well-being of children as pretexts for the blatant censorship, which I think goes along with the interests of the authority," said Yekaterina, who was protesting in the capital.

Fellow activist Yerlan Zhurabayev added: "The authority persistently tightens its grip on the internet, trying its powers on some parts of it like Telegram. It is a repetition of the Chinese scenario when a firewall was established to block people from the rest of the world."

Opposition politician Mikhail Kasyanov doubled-down on criticisms being levied against the Kremlin. 

"The government wants to take away our freedom," he said.

But Russia's Federal Security Service says it needs access to guard against security threats

Telegram says compliance with the order would constitute a violation of users' privacy.

Police made around 20 arrests at the rally.

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