Apple finds itself caught between the interests of encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram and Signal, which want to prevent anybody from intercepting communications between users, and governments, who want access to messages to identify security risks and other issues.
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Attention to the lack of upgrades grew after Telegram users complained that some of the app's features ceased working with the release of iOS 11.4 this week.
The crackdown on Telegram resulted in the blocking of IP addresses from cloud services providers, including Google and Amazon, in Russian Federation.
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On Monday, Russia's communications watchdog said it had requested Apple block push notifications for Telegram users in Russia, which would mean users would not receive alerts for new messages and thus render it less useful. The company has remained silent on the issue since then, even as Telegram's CEO now accuses it of blocking his app's updates globally since mid-April. On average, these users have more than 100 apps installed on their devices, while they use over 40 each month.
Contrarily to the likes of Facebook and Google, whose business models are based on knowing enough about their users to serve effective advertisements, Apple says it doesn't need to know our most intimate details.
In a statement posted today, Durov notes that no updates have been approved ever since Russian Federation ordered Apple to remove the messaging app from the App Store because it wouldn't provide decryption keys to its user's communications.
Apple already shows App Store users advertisements at the top of search results within the download portal, but this would take things a step further. Durov also claims that the company has been "unable to fully comply with GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] for our EU-users" by the May 25 deadline due to its inability to update the app in the App Store. "We are continuing our efforts to resolve the situation", the exec added.