Support The Moscow Times!

Telegram Founder Calls for Repeat of Paper Plane Flashmob

Pavel Durov Instagram / Pixabay / MT

Pavel Durov, the founder and CEO of the messaging service Telegram, has called on supporters to fly paper planes from their windows next Sunday in opposition to Russia’s ban on the company.

This past Sunday, Telegram users throughout the country responded to Durov’s initial call on social media for a coordinated paper plane action “in support of Internet freedom.” Russian regulators began blocking Telegram, which uses a white paper plane as its logo, after it refused to comply with a court order to grant security services access to its users' encrypted messages.

“Next time? Sunday, April 29, 19:00 local time,” Durov wrote Monday on the social media website VKontakte.

Russia’s attempt to ban Telegram, the world's ninth most popular mobile messaging app, was the “largest-scale act of Internet censorship in Russian history,” he said.

Durov, who left Russia in 2014 and has become a vocal critic of the Kremlin's policies on Internet freedom, urged for “insider information on the causes, plans, and methods” of banning Telegram.

“Abolishing the right to confidentiality is a medicine more dangerous than the disease itself,” he said.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.