Russia has blocked Telegram secure messaging app for failing to cooperate with the government. Here’s how Russian users can easily unblock Telegram in just a few steps.
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Why Russia wants to block Telegram
The Russian government has a history of exercising control over all communication apps. This is done in order to help law enforcement deal with criminals and ensure a speedy investigation.
Alexander Bortnikov, the director of FSB, also claimed that terrorists are actively using messaging apps to plan and coordinate attacks.
Hence, the Russian government forced all secure messaging apps to hand over their encryption keys within two week’s time. Telegram, which enjoys popularity amongst Russians, failed to comply due to technical reasons.
CEO Pavel Durov reiterated that their app stores decryption keys locally on the user’s device.
This means they just can’t “hand over” a single key to the government, which will allow it to decrypt all messages.
Consequently, Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Communications) has decided to block Telegram altogether.
Despite Kremlin’s lockdown, you can access and use Telegram app like you normally do in a few simple steps.
Unblocking Telegram in Russia on your iPhone
Method 1 – Use a SOCKS5 Proxy server
The app comes with an inbuilt proxy server feature, which routes all your traffic through a server at another location. Developers implemented this feature specifically to ensure uninterrupted communications in the event of a blockade.
Step 1 Open the in-app Settings menu.
Step 2 Tap Data and Storage > Use Proxy.
Step 3 Select SOCKS5 as the proxy type.
Step 4 Enter the proxy server address and port details under the “CONNECTION” section. Here are the fastest SOCKS servers that you can use on your iPhone.
- 188.8.131.52:61177 (United Kingdom)
- 184.108.40.206:61177 (United Kingdom)
- 220.127.116.11:7581 (Spain)
- 18.104.22.168:43091 (Sweden)
- 22.214.171.124:61177 (United Kingdom)
- 126.96.36.199:61177 (United Kingdom)
The number after “:’ refers to the port number and should go in the port field whereas the number before it signifies the server address.
Method 2 – Route traffic via VPN
Opera VPN is a great free VPN app that masks your location and directs your traffic through its servers. CyberGhost VPN is yet another trusted VPN provider for iPhone users.
The secure messaging app is still available on the Russian app store at the time of writing this article. Once they take it down or block it, you can follow any of the methods given above.