Russians Protest Telegram Ban By Flying Paper Airplanes
On April 13, Moscow’s Tagansky court banned Telegram from offering its service to the Russians, following the messenger’s refusal to hand over Russian security services an access to encrypted user messages. In fact, Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov did not even send a lawyer to explain the firm’s stance in the court. Roskomnadzor, a censuring media body responsible for attempting to ban everything from Github to white nationalist websites, argued the case against Telegram in the court.
Roughly five days ago, activists took to the street in Russia and protested in front of the Federal Security Services (FSB) headquarters. Most of the activists made airplanes – the logo of Telegram – with colored paper and flew it in front of the FSB headquarters. Police quickly came in and dispersed the crowd. Maria Alyokhina, a member of the Pussy Riot (Moscow based-feminist protest punk rock group) was arrested and later released.
Following the protest, Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram messenger, had requested the supporters of free internet to fly a paper plane from their windows at 7PM local time (Russia) yesterday. Durov reminded people about Earth Day and requested supporters to collect the airplanes that fall on the streets or neighboring houses, an hour later. He has also thanked the members of the #Digitalresistance movement, while asking supporters to set up socks5-proxies and VPNs to enable the Russians bypass the ban.
Telegram CEO @durov called for Russians to protest Russia’s attempt at Internet censorship by throwing paper airplanes (Telegram’s logo) out their windows today.
The citizens of Russia didn’t disappoint. pic.twitter.com/nDjXWEO8pF
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) April 22, 2018
“For 7 days Russia has been trying to ban Telegram on its territory – with no luck so far. I am thrilled we were able to survive under the most aggressive attempt of internet censorship in Russian history with almost 18 million IP addresses blocked.”