Apple lifts two-month ban on Telegram updates in iOS store

Russia’s official ban of Telegram has spread, CEO Pavel Durov tweeted on Thursday, saying that Apple had been blocking updates to the encrypted messaging app on a global scale since Russian authorities ordered the company to remove Telegram from the App Store in April:

Durov said on his Telegram channel that Apple’s update block meant that some features that were fixed weeks ago – such as stickers – weren’t working correctly under the recently released iOS 11.4.

Apple’s upgrade block also prevented Telegram from complying with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for its European Union users by the 25 May deadline.

But following bad press, Apple reversed the ban on Friday, Durov said in a follow-up tweet:

Russia had been threatening to block Telegram since the April 2017 suicide bombing on the St. Petersburg metro that killed 16 people.

Russia’s Federal Security Service – the FSB, which is the successor to the KGB – had demanded that Telegram, which had been used to plan the attack, hand over the ability to decrypt user messages.