Russia’s state media watchdog on Thursday briefly blocked the WhatsApp messaging service in what appears to be a continuation of its campaign to block the Telegram application.
Media watchdog Roskomnadzor blacklisted 10.8 million IP addresses on Thursday, including those of Google and Amazon, disrupting a range of unrelated online services for Russian users. Fifty organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Transparency International appealed for Russia to unblock Telegram in an open letter on Tuesday.
“So, WhatsApp users, here you are: 329 WhatsApp IP addresses,” Filipp Kulin, the software engineer who developed a tool that monitors Roskomnadzor’s blacklists, wrote in a social media post Thursday.
Users of both WhatsApp and Viber reported accessibility issues in Russia and Central Europe on Thursday afternoon, the RBC business portal reported.
The Meduza news website reported half an hour later that the WhatsApp addresses were removed from Roskomnadzor’s registry of banned sites.