Access to Telegram Blocked in Russia
The Tagansky District Court in Moscow, the highest judicial body of the capital city of Russia, has blocked access to Telegram messenger in the country as the company failed to furnish the telecommunications regulator, the Federal Security Service (FSB) with the keys to decrypt user messages, reported TASS.
“The ban on access to information will be in force until the [Federal Security Service’s] demands are met on providing keys for decrypting user messages”
– Judge Yulia Smolina
The Russian security service suspects that Telegram messenger is actively being used by members of international terrorist organizations.
The FSB believes that the messenger enables terrorists to have chats with a high level of encrypted information and that it was used in the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg in April 2017. Subsequently, the security agency had sent a request to the company’s CEO Pavel Durov to provide the keys to decrypt the messages for six phone numbers that are using this messenger. However, the request went unanswered.
Telegram Is Required to Satisfy the Demands of the Roskomnadzor
In October 2017, Telegram was fined 800,000 rubles (about $13,000 at today’s exchange rate) by the Moscow court for its refusal to meet the Roskomnadzor’s demand. Roskomnadzor is the Federal service for supervision in the sphere of telecom, information technologies and mass communications in Russia. Telegram did file against the court’s decision in December 2017 but in vain. In March 2018, the Supreme Court declared the Roskomnadzor’s order (to furnish the keys to decrypted messages) legal.
“The court ruled to satisfy the demand of Roskomnadzor”
– Judge Yulia Smolina
CEO Pavel Durov Remains Defiant
Meanwhile, Durov remains defiant about any inaction by his company. “The power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money… At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales. Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed,” commented Durov in a post to his personal Telegram channel.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos
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