Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, is looking for contractors who can block networks that are resistant to censorship. According to a publication by General Radio Frequency Center on March 3, the communications watchdog is seeking technical solutions to get rid of unwanted platforms that often host extreme content.
Some of the platforms that have been officially identified as darknet threats in Russia include Zeronet, Freenet, Invisible Internet Project and Telegram’s Open Network (TON). The latter however popular for its social media network was not spared by Roskomnadzor.
How is Telegram’s Network a Threat?
Telegram featured in this list owing to its upcoming blockchain platform; the firm had planned to launch it soon but encountered some challenges with the SEC. Despite the shortcomings, the social network is determined to launch TON with the latest development update being a guide on how to leverage TON’s DNS for websites.
The TON network is designed to offer a number of services including anonymity hence the friction with Russia’s communications agency. It is also not the first time Telegram is facing a hostile ecosystem; back in 2017 Roskomnadzor tried to block Telegram’s messenger. The agency has however been unsuccessful to date given Telegram’s domain fronting technique.
Following the March 3 publication, Roskomnadzor has moved to block six crypto-oriented websites without any warning to users. The platforms that have suffered this wrath are; prostocoin.com, tittok.com, btcphone.ru, nicechange.org, alphatop.me, and bits.media.
Telegrams CTO, Mitja Goroshevsky, is however optimistic that TON cannot be blocked by Russia’s authorities;
“Even if there is an ‘Iron Curtain' and all the communication channels with the outside world are blocked, chances to block it are around 5 percent,” adding that “it will be a new disgrace for Roskomnadzor”
Mitja also highlighted that the only way to tamper with TON’s network is by compromising over 30% of validators within its ecosystem. According to him, this would be a far-fetched ambition as most of the validators are based outside Russia in order to leverage the cloud services by Amazon and Google.