Bitcoin [BTC], a tool to support digital freedom in Russia

The Russian government in its attempt to access encryption keys to combat with terrorism has banned Telegram as Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov denied access to encryption keys to the Russian securities despite the court order on April 13th from a Moscow Court.

CEO Pavel Durov states that the privacy of the application’s users is his utmost priority. They had promised all their users 100% privacy and they would prefer ceasing to exist rather than give in to the demands of the Russian securities. Since the ban, Russia blocked over 15 million IP addresses in attempts to ban Telegram on its territory, despite this they haven’t seen a significant drop in user engagement so far. Telegram is currently using third-party cloud services to remain partly available for their users there.

Pavel Durov’s recent tweet

The encrypted messaging service is often used all over the world for those seeking relative levels of privacy. In fact, it’s a known source of communication for much of the Middle East and those under rather oppressive political arrangements.

As a result, Russia points to various terrorist acts on its soil, and around the globe, where Telegram has been accused of playing a role. And so its security and communication agencies have demanded Telegram to provide a way for government minders to access user information in at least the most criminal of cases.

In retaliation, the CEO of Telegram announced Telegram would use Bitcoin to fund socks5 proxies and VPNs as possible workarounds for Russian customers to promote his campaign of digital resistance, a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally. He hopes that the others join him as well.


Pavel Durov, on his Channel, was seen extending his support:

“In order to support internet freedoms in Russia and elsewhere I started giving out bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run proxies and VPN. I will invest millions of dollars and hope others will join my cause.”

Durov made several other points in his post; firstly, he thanked Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for not ‘taking part in political censorship’ – presumably because they kept Telegram available for download in Russia through their app stores. He also stated that Russians make up 7% of the entire Telegram user base and if they do get forced off the service, that other regions organic growth would replace the lost users in just a couple of months.

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