This morning the Internet is widely spread rumors about the «real reason for blocking Telegram in Russia.» It supposedly is the Creator of the messenger of Pavel Durov start on the basis of the messenger «is totally out of control financial system.»
About it in the media suddenly discovered the «letter to colleagues», said Roman Antypkin — officer of the 12th center of the FSB, in charge of issues of the SORM (operational search activities carried out in mobile networks by technical means). Excerpt from a letter sent by the domain 12center.ru allegedly signed by Antipkin:
«Colleagues, Yes, the story is not at all about the keys and terrorism. Pavel Durov has decided to become the new Mavrodi. Running the updates we get totally out of control financial system. And it’s not bitcoin for the marginalized, it will be simply, reliably and uncontrollably. It is a threat to national security. Drugs, obnal, trade bodies will go through the Flank of the crypt, and he will say: «I’m innocent, banned words, they are used by terrorists.»
The authenticity of the letter confirmed an unnamed «Federal official and a top Manager of one of the operators». However, the Antypkin his involvement in the letter denies, saying «all lies» and refusing to comment on the situation.
The story of ICO Pavel Durov
In December of 2017 for the first time appeared the information that the Creator of the Telegram is preparing to release its own crypto currency Gram. Then informally published documents of the first technical descriptions of the future of cryptocurrency platform TON (Telegram Open Network). The project was described in detail in the 132-page document, signed by Nikolai Durov is the technical Director and brother of Telegram Pavel Durov.
The creators intend to integrate a payment system based on its own blockchain TON with Telegram messenger, and in the future to introduce it to other services and social networks. According to the developers, the new technology is capable of processing millions of transactions per second. In the beginning of 2018 during the two rounds of closed ICO Durov already raised $1.7 billion from several investors, including several Russian businessmen.
Shortly after the release of information about plans to create a cryptocurrency Gram and holding ICO FSB filed suit in the Tagansky district court of Moscow with the requirement to block Telegram in Russia due to the fact that the actor refuses to hand over the keys to deciphering the correspondence of the users.
The case was heard on an expedited basis and, despite the opposition of lawyers Telegram, lock entered into force on 15 April. However, the Telegram was a «tough cookie» and very quickly began to change IP addresses of their servers, having connection points for cloud services and popular hosting. As a result, by the end of the day 19 April, lists Roskomnadzor has got more than 18 million IP addresses, mostly belonging to the networks of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Digital Ocean, Hetzner and other operators. Telegram however, most users continue to work even without using a proxy and VPN, due to the built-in mechanism of distribution of connection settings. This «hidden war», however, led to the unavailability in Russia a large number of sites using the services listed above the service providers. Further actions of Roskomnadzor not yet known. however, it is clear that a mass blocking of IP addresses in this case ineffective.
At the right time in the right place
Based on the facts, the emergence of a «revealing letter» does not look strange, although the real reasons for its publication remain in the assumptions.
Expressed in the letter of the suspect in the «building the pyramid» Pavel Durov does not look quite reasonable. Already held rounds of funding allowed the Telegram to collect an amount more than sufficient for the development of the project, through a legal company registered with the SEC, the U.S., and the amount of submitted bids was more than double approved 1.7 billion dollars. Therefore, according to the latest information, the public ICO and raise funds from private investors probably will not take place. And the more absurd it seems to compare her with Mavrodi. It is obvious that the project of TON will not be a pyramid scheme with no real product, and the brothers Durovy will not disappear with the resulting billions.
The FSB fears about creating uncontrolled network for illegal activities is also questionable, since American intelligence services to suppress such an enterprise quite effectively, experienced Silk Road and its many followers. Company TON Issuer Inc and Telegram Group Inc registered in British virgin Islands, but I’m going to work with the citizens of the United States, as evidenced by the issue of securities through the SEC. Consequently, Russia will not be a priority market for the project.
With regard to the illegal use of the blockchain, for similar purposes you can use any cryptocurrency and messenger with end-to-end encryption. Lock Telegram messenger in virtually no impact on the deployment and operation of the project TON — except that a bit will shorten its law-abiding Russian audience, but will not prevent criminals. And the FSB is well aware.
Subject to the foregoing, the appearance of the «letters of the Roman Antipkin» after the failed blocking of the messenger can be caused by a variety of reasons, does not match its content. Perhaps the FSB or other unknown forces so plan escape routes or in front of the tightening regulation of the Internet in Russia. This we learn from developments around the lock Telegram.