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Telegram says Apple has been rejecting its app updates even outside of Russia

Telegram says Apple has been rejecting its app updates even outside of Russia


The blocking saga continues

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A picture of Telegram’s paper airplane logo surrounded by stencils of the logo.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Russia ordered a ban of the Telegram secure messaging app back in April, and the knock-on effects continue to cause issues for users outside of Russia. Following the messy block of 15.8 million IPs on Amazon and Google’s cloud platforms, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov says Apple has been blocking updates for the app globally. The lack of Telegram app updates mean some features, like stickers, aren’t working correctly in the recently released iOS 11.4 update.

“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.”

Durov also claims the lack of app updates mean Telegram has also “been unable to fully comply with GDPR” before the May 25th deadline. While a lack of GDPR compliance is a concern for both end users and Telegram itself, app updates usually also include important security patches and bug fixes so if the block continues then iPhone users of the service could be left at risk.

Russia has now reportedly asked Apple to remove the Telegram app from the Russian App Store. The request comes after Telegram refused to share its encryption keys with Russia’s Federal Security Service, and a court ruling banned the service until it provides the keys. Russia’s Federal Security Service cites the threat of terrorists and criminals using the encrypted platform as reasons to require access to decrypt messages.