Russia will no longer try to block messaging app Telegram after officials conceded it was an important means of sharing critical information, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov pledged to help combat terrorism and extremism, according to Bloomberg, leading to communications watchdog Roskomnadzor and the General Prosecutor’s office agreeing to drop the ban.
Before the regulators formally lifted the ban today, politicians had submitted a bill to dismiss the restrictions on Telegram. Earlier this month, Durov said his company has systems in place to "prevent terror acts across the globe" and has thwarted many thousands of attempts to share extremist content on the service -- all without compromising users' privacy. Telegram has been playing whack-a-mole with ISIS-related channels for years.