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article imageApple has begun preventing Telegram updates

By Tim Sandle     Jun 1, 2018 in Technology
Things are looking tricky for the messenger service Telegram, with Apple instigating a block to further updates for the social media platform. In Europe this has additionally caused GDPR issues.
In April 2018, Digital Journal reported that the Russian government (via state media agency Roskomnadzor) has declared it was blocking the use of the social media app Telegram. This was over security concerns, and in relation to the app potentially being used by persons who could be engaging in nefarious activities. The Russian concern stemmed from the developers refusing to supply the encryption keys used to scramble messages (see: "Russia blocks Telegram app over security concerns").
Telegram is an instant messaging service, which functions through cloud computing. The app was founded by the Russian businessman Pavel Durov. Messages sent via Telegram are server-client encrypted automatically, a process intended to avoid third-party unsecure backups. This process also enables users to access messages and files from any device.
At one point Telegram appeared as a major challenger to more established social media messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. However, news that Apple has been blocking updates to Telegram since April have hampered the functionality of the app and this has also led to data privacy concerns in relation to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
News that Apple has not been permitting updates come from a Twitter message posted by Pavel Durov. This relates to updates to Telegram iOS app and updates via Apple's App Store. The version of the app currently available in the App Store is now two months old, and Durov states that newer features such as stickers will not work properly in iOS 11.4. Durov also indicates that Telegram has been "unable to fully comply with GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] for our EU-users".
Why Apple has imposed the global block is unclear. However, Russia has demanded that Apple remove Telegram from its app store in Russia by the end of June 2018.
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