On May 5, 2017, ROSKOMNADZOR (Russia’s communications regulator) confirmed that they had blocked the Chinese WECHAT messenger service in Russia.  It was understood the ban was due to WECHAT refusing to provide information on its users and denial that they were an organizer of information distribution. 

This follows other messenger services such as ZELLO, BLACKBERRY MESSENGER etc being blocked for the same reasons.  ROSKOMNADZOR has been cracking down on messenger services that do not follow the relevant Russian regulations for companies engaged in information dissemination, including providing user data to relevant authorities.

With recent terrorist attacks, ROSKOMNADZOR have been stepping up their enforcement of the FEDERAL LAW ON INFORMATION, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND THE PROTECTION OF INFORMATION.  The subject law set out the requirements for organizers of information distribution, including the need to divulge information on users and their messages under set circumstances.