It’s been a couple months since Russia banned popular encrypted communication app Telegram across the country. And while you may think that such a ban would only affect Telegram users in the Kremlin-run nation, that hasn’t been the case. Rather, ever since the Russia-wide ban, Apple has allegedly blocked Telegram from making updates to its services. That is, until now. Apparently, Apple has finally given in and allowed the app to push through updates that make it compliant with the new GDPR privacy laws.
On Friday, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov tweeted to both Apple and its CEO Tim Cook, thanking both Twitter handles “for letting us deliver the latest version of @telegram to millions of users, despite the recent setbacks.”
— Pavel Durov (@durov) June 1, 2018
These setbacks first began in mid-April with the Russian ban on the app. The government noted that the app continually refused to give the Kremlin access to encryption keys that would grant the nation’s Federal Security Service (FSB) access to Telegram’s user data. Once this ban was implemented, it meant that American tech companies (including Apple) had to pull the app from their app stores. In fact, Russia apparently sent a letter to Apple just a few days ago ordering that the company remove Telegram from its offerings within the month, or face legal consequences.
But apparently, Apple has been giving Telegram grief since before the ban was put into place.
“Apple has been preventing Telegram from updating its iOS apps globally ever since the Russian authorities ordered Apple to remove Telegram from the App Store,” Durov noted in a public Telegram message yesterday. “While Russia makes up only 7 percent of Telegram’s user base, Apple is restricting updates for all Telegram users around the world since mid-April.”
Luckily, it seems that this message had its desired effect, as Apple has now apparently allowed the first iOS Telegram update in months.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Telegram’s woes are over. They’re still embroiled in a legal battle with the Russian authorities, and there’s no telling when Russian users will be able to access the app again. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as this story develops.