A Russian courtroom has levied an official ban towards messaging app Telegram, simply weeks after its preliminary coin providing (ICO) presale raised practically $2 billion in two personal funding rounds.

Tagansky courtroom choose Yuliya Smolina dominated towards Telegram on Friday, siding with communications regulator Roskomnadzor’s request for the authorization to dam entry to the app on the grounds that the corporate had refused to adjust to native legal guidelines.

Intelligence officers with the FSB Federal Security service had repeatedly demanded that Telegram hand over its encryption keys, which might have allowed them to view messages saved in encrypted chats between customers. They claimed that they wanted entry to those keys so they may thwart terrorist assaults.

However, Telegram mentioned that the request was an affront to person privateness and refused to conform, resulting in Friday’s courtroom ruling.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov mentioned in response to the ruling that the corporate would endeavor to bypass the ban, utilizing in-app strategies to evade the block, which may go into impact at any time. Users may have a VPN to make sure continued entry to the app.

“The power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money. At any given moment, a government can crash their stocks by threatening to block revenue streams from its markets and thus force these companies to do strange things (remember how last year Apple moved iCloud servers to China),” Durov wrote on his public channel. “At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales. Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed.”

An estimated 9.5 million of Telegram’s 200 million international customers dwell in Russia.

As CCN reported, the corporate just lately concluded the second spherical of its ICO presale, which has up to now been held by way of a non-public placement. The firm has raised $1.7 billion to create the Telegram Open Network (TON), a blockchain ecosystem with a local cryptocurrency referred to as Gram. It is unclear whether or not the corporate will proceed with a public ICO or conclude its providing following the record-setting presale.

Iran, one other authoritarian nation wherein Telegram is standard, can also be reportedly mulling a ban on the app, with officers citing its transition into “an economic platform” that can “undermine the national currency of Iran” as justification for its censorship.