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To ban Telegram Russian regulator blocked two million ip adresses(translated) (googleusercontent.com)
95 points by phront 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

I no longer live in Russia, so can't tell if it is true, but from what I'm reading, Telegram devs used a clever hack to bypass the blocking.

They say Telegram is using service PUSH notifications (DC_UPDATE - https://core.telegram.org/api/push-updates) to send new server's IP.

Apparently, those push updates come from Apple/Google/Microsoft notification servers. So if Roskomnadzor blocks those servers, then all push notifications will stop working altogether (not only for Telegram).

Does anybody know if it is possible?

Also, Roskomnadzor asked Apple/Google/Microsoft to delete Telegram app from their app stores.

UPD1: Obviously, Web version of Telegram won't work as it doesn't have/use push notifications.

UPD2: Roskomnadzor blocked ~800,000 Amazon IPs and more than 1,000,000 Google IPs. People say they're having issues with Viber calls

Yes it's possible.

Few years back ppl on HN says Chinese government don't dare to block Gmail because it's waaaaayyy too important.

Turns out authoritarian governments don't give a fuck.

Ppl keep inventing the same wheel. See also:


Thankfully the Russian regulator doesn’t feel that kind of power.

Yes it is possible. Typically this usage of push is done more to pre-fetch content to improve load times, but it certainly can be used in the way you described.

I remember a discussion on HN about Orchid Protocol, where proponents argued that if you route traffic through GCP/AWS China wouldn't dare ban the big american clouds because that would, in effect, ban most of legitimate internet for its citizens, and that would have a net negative effect on its economy and its citizens' well-being.

Russia shows that political will and/or technical incompetence can easily overlook these things.

China already blocks services broadly. But here's a funny example: chinese developers ask me to vendor dependencies for a golang service (copy them into my the repo, they're already version-locked) because china blocks golang.org and some deps are under golang.org/x/... - I guess China just really doesn't like Google, I can't imagine another reason to block golang.org

I think the hardest thing for China is GitHub, they've gone back and forth on that one.

China couldn’t care about breaking AWS and therefore most of the western companies that depend on it, it would simply provide an advantage to domestic competitors. Last time I lived in China the average person didn’t use much from outside of China on a daily basis and it’s only gotten worse (back then people still used Facebook over VPNs but that has mostly gone away as far as I can tell after China started more seriously cracking down on VPNs).

It's similar with Russia. It has its own search (Yandex), lots of mail servers, video hosting, social network (vk), etc. Western analogs are popular, but if they would become inaccessible, most of people would switch and not care that much.

"would have a net negative effect on its economy and its citizens' well-being"

That's how you can tell when a person has grown up in a democracy with accountability to its people and also has over generalized about the rest of the world. Both China and Russia has historically shown a preference for the state over their populace. I'm not trying to knock those two countries because the willingness to do that can sometimes give certain disadvantaged states the ability to outlast or outfight their rivals. But one shouldn't assume one's own conditions are universal. There are many other viable options outside of one's own country.

Which is more likely: an authoritarian state backs down on censorship to avoid blocking US-based internet services, or Google / Microsoft / Amazon terminate the banned service's account to avoid losing other, more profitable customers?

...or maybe HN was wrong?


> China wouldn't dare ban the big american clouds because that would, in effect, ban most of legitimate internet for its citizens

They could go the other way and find an excuse to ban them then cite how these capitalist swamp countries are sheltering and fostering terrorists and criminals and people should use Chinese service providers. In other words censorship can be used to reach other goals, besides just controlling the flow of ideas.

Russia is sick and I hope it gets help soon, but probably won't.

As reported by one of the leaders of the opposition, ironically on the banned Telegram app (https://t.me/DmitryGudkov), the IP blocking has resulted in cash registers no longer being functional at a popular chain of stores.

Russia just put the pressure on Amazon and Google. They are basically forced to decide between keeping one customer or to have other services blocked too. So its actually a smart (sadistic) move in a power game, by Russia.

It's a game in which the biggest losers are Russian people in either scenario.

Of course. Not sure why I was downvoted. I don’t agree with Russia’s decision a tiny bit.

America, China, Russia... They are all very sick, corrupted, power hungry countries ran by psychopaths. Your brand of psychopath may seem more likeable to you, but that's because you grew up with it.

When Americans are not allowed to criticize their own government without fearing retribution, you can put them in the same group as the other two. Until then, you’re being absurd.

Our countries deal with dissent and criticism in a different way. By discrediting it as fake news, propaganda or any other made up ruse and self censorship by the media who are owned by entrenched interests and ambitious journalists not keen to jeopardize their careers.

RT is attacked and demonized here, Snowden and Assange are still stranded, Poitras, Greenwald and other dissenters are routinely harassed by authorities and whistle blowers continue to be prosecuted and sent to jail. [1]

If RT is propaganda then so is the BBC, CNN and the rest of our media who far from providing checks and balances are notorious for toeing the government line and have a history on cheering on every dubious decision including fabricated evidence for wars, and warmongering just a week ago again on completely fabricated evidence. [2]

1. http://time.com/5219978/fbi-agent-charged-leaking-the-interc...

2. https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-g...

You'll be dismissed as a crackpot, and if it was online you can bet it'll come out in the kind of checks that will be performed for high-profile jobs. Those are very real repercussions, they're just less obvious.

Amazon already asked Zello, another banned communication app, to stop using their servers to circumvent the Russian ban.

Can't see why they wouldn't shy away here as well.

Whats funny is that Amazon "support" net neutrality and free speech only if this "democracy" will help they business, if not they will block your account even if you haven't violated any rules

> Whats funny is that Amazon "support" net neutrality and free speech only if this "democracy" will help they business

Amazon supports net neutrality in America, a democracy, where debating such things has meaning. Opposing the Kremlin in Russia is meaningless. You'll just get stomped on. As long as Amazon don't directly support anything insidious in Russia, that's a fair compromise between two incompatible systems.

> haven't violated any rules

Different sets of rules.

>Opposing the Kremlin in Russia is meaningless. You'll just get stomped out.

Isn't there some line where if a country does something bad enough you will refuse to do business with them? That doesn't seem meaningless to me.

You would only get stomped out in that country. You would not get stomped out globally.

Even Apple moved part of the iCloud data to China to continue working there, so I guess they don’t care that much as long as that doesn’t affect their xore audience.

There's probably still some line. Just China hasn't reached Apple's line yet.

"Stomped on" in this context just means Amazon can't make money in Russia, right?

They have also asked APKMirror to stop hosting Telegram APK's (ie. The install packages for android devices).

No word on whether or not the F-Droid repositories have been contacted as well.

I wouldn't be surprised if infected copies started popping up soon.

Russian contact has to use tor on mobile now to access telegram when on cell network. But the home ISP still has access without blockage.

Said contact sent me some text in a screenshot, I’ll provide it here. I don’t have a source to link to.

According to an unofficial copy of Roskomnadzor’s internet blacklist, the hundreds of thousands of Amazon IP addresses (plus some owned by Google and Telegram) are prohibited because of a decision by the Attorney General’s office that is technically unrelated to the April 13th court ruling in Moscow that allowed the government to start blocking Telegram.

Its surprising AWS hasn't tried to open a Russian region yet. All the arguments about compromise of the data centres etc can also be made even more so for China (which is both a more sophisticated opponent and one that literally forces you to work with their state sponsored companies.

I guess the economics vs just running out of the Stockholm region dont make sense but it seems like an underserved market

After this episode AWS would have to be a bit foolish to invest in assets subject to Russian seizure.

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