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Messaging App Telegram Claims Apple Has Blocked App Store Updates

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Apple has prevented the Telegram messaging service from updating globally ever since Russia ordered the tech giant to remove the service from its stores.

According to a new report from 9to5Mac, the popular messaging app hasn’t received App Store update since late March. It now appears that ever since Russian authorities ruled that the app was illegal in the country, the company has been unable to release an update to the App Store in any region.

“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,” explains Durov in a Telegram message. “While Russia makes up only 7 percent of Telegram’s userbase, Apple is restricting updates for all Telegram users around the world since mid-April.”

The version of the app currently in the App Store is two months old, and Durov claims features such as stickers will not work properly in iOS 11.4 (which was pushed out earlier this week) due to the lack of updates.

End-to-end encyption, which prevents messages from being read by anyone but the sender and the recipient, is Telegram’s main selling point. It has made the service popular among those who value their privacy and fear government snooping.

But end-to-end encryption isn’t welcome in Russia. Local authorities have demanded that Telegram be removed from the App Store after the service refused to provide the Russian government with decryption keys that would allow access to user communications. While Russia makes up only 7 percent of Telegram’s user base, Apple is restricting updates for all Telegram users around the world, Durov said.

“As a result, we’ve also been unable to fully comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for our EU-users by the deadline of May 25, 2018. We are continuing our efforts to resolve the situation,” he said.

Earlier this week, Roskomnadzor – Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media – announced that it’s given Apple one month to delete Telegram from its App Store in Russia, also demanding that it stop sending Telegram’s push notifications to users in Russia, threatening to “take action” against iOS services if it refuses to comply.

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