Access limitations for the official Telegram website in Belarus

A subscriber of the Belarusian operator A1 reported a certificate error on the official Telegram website – Instead of the original GoDaddy certificate, there is a certificate from some company named “Alternative Digital Reality”. Later it was discovered that in this way A1 unsuccessfully tries to show a stub which informs about the fact the web resource is blocked.

Earlier in Belarus, the NEXTA channel was recognized as extremist one, a resolution was issued on the need to block it.

The error occurs because the provider is trying to take protected traffic under its control: to view or modify the transmitted data, the provider must replace the legitimate certificate with its own, but modern browsers do not trust such certificates.

In this case, the error is harmless, but in the future, intelligence services may try to listen to traffic in a similar way, performing a so-called MITM attack. Earlier, Kazakhstan government tried to deploy such tactics, but after the failure the idea was abandoned.

Never install certificates on your device if the carriers convince you to do so: this gives your ISP direct access to all web traffic.

Messaging in official Telegram clients remains secure, since Telegram uses its own protocol, independent of this wiretapping technique.

For Telegram links on Android to work again, you need to install Telegram as the default app to open such links:

If, when you click on a link, you are prompted to open it in Telegram or a browser, choose Telegram.

If the pop-up window does not appear: Hold down the Telegram icon and open the “App info. Select the “Open by default” section. Under “Open supported links”, select Open or Allow.

To open the link on iOS in Telegram app, hold down the link and select “Open in Telegram”.

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