Telegram Founder Pledges Millions in Bitcoin For VPNs and “Digital Resistance”
<A massive wave of action to block messaging service Telegram resulted in widespread collateral damage yesterday after Russian authorities ordered millions of IP addresses blocked across the country. But the efforts have only lit a fire under Telegram founder Pavel Durov, who has pledged to donate millions of dollars in bitcoin to VPN providers as part of his "Digital Resistance".
>Starting yesterday, Russia went to war with free cross-platform messaging app Telegram. Authorities including the FSB wanted access to Telegram’s encryption keys, but the service refused to hand them over.
>As a result, the service – which serviced 200,000,000 people in March alone – came under massive attack. Supported by a court ruling obtained last Friday, authorities ordered ISPs to block huge numbers of IP addresses in an effort to shut Telegram down.
>Amazon and Google, whose services Telegram uses, were both hit with censorship measures, with around 1.8 million IP addresses belonging to the Internet giants blocked in an initial wave of action. But the government was just getting warmed up.
>In an updated posted by Pavel Durov to Twitter from Switzerland late last night, the Telegram founder confirmed that Russia had massively stepped up the fight against his encrypted messaging platform.
>Within the last two days, Russia blocked over 15 million IP addresses in attempts to ban Telegram on its territory. Regardless, Telegram remained available for the majority of Russia’s residents #digitalresistance
>Of course, 15 million IP addresses is a huge volume, particularly since ‘just’ 14 million of Telegram’s users are located in Russia – that’s more than one IP address for each of them. As a result, there are reports of completed unrelated services being affected by the ban, which is to be expected given its widespread nature. But Russia doesn’t want to stop there.
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