Russia was determined to close the Telegram Messaging App, which has blocked Google and Amazon Cloud Services across the country to get a lockout. Now the Kremlin has warned that Facebook could be next.
The head of the state media monitoring committee Roskomnadzor said that Facebook should move its database of Russian users to Russia and eliminate “any illegal content” or risk being banned.
Alexander Zharov also wants to explain to Facebook why some Russian accounts have been deleted. The company banned, for example, more than 270 accounts connected to the Internet Research Agency, the Russian goblin factory with connections to the Kremlin.
In an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia, quoted by the state news agency TASS, Zharov said that Facebook is already “very late” in fulfilling government requests. This despite two meetings a year between the two parties, the last of which took place in February according to TASS.
He warned that “in case something is not implemented or the Russian government is not informed of its intention to take the necessary measures, the question of a blockade will surely arise”.
Facebook will have taken note of the way Russia handled the telegram mail service, which was banned after opposing a court order granting state security services access to encrypted messages from its server. Russia’s efforts to access Telegram are due to the fear that terrorists will use them to help with the planning of attacks.
On Tuesday, Roskomnadzor said it was blocking the IP addresses of Google and Amazon after finding that the Telegram message service had used its cloud services to reach users. All other services provided through Google and Amazon servers have also been removed.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said the ban was ineffective. “So far, we have not seen any significant decline in user engagement as Russians tend to bypass the ban on VPNs and proxies,” he said on a blog. About 7% of the telegram user base is located in Russia.