Russian censorship agency labels Telegram ‘foreign messaging service’, restricts payments

Telegram will be labelled a “foreign messaging service” in Russia and will have billing information and personal data transfer restricted, Kommersant cites a decision by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s censorship agency.

This measure will come into force starting 1 March 2023. Telegram and other services labelled “foreign” will have donations and subscriptions payments, as well as cooperation with banks, restricted.

These days, Russian banks that are barred from having their applications on the App Store are developing their online banking services via Telegram. Representatives of VTB and PSB, two major Russian banks, insist that all operations are made on their side, however, the new law does not allow sending auxiliary banking messages, Kommersant says.

Law experts Kommersant has spoken with believe that Roskomnadzor might ease some requirements in the future.

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