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Telegram appeals Supreme Court’s ruling on decoding messages

16:25 08/05/2018

MOSCOW, May 8 (RAPSI) - Telegram Messenger LLP has appealed the Supreme Court’s refusal to cancel the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) decree establishing the procedure for provision of information on decoding of user data, the representative of Human rights association Agora Dmitry Kolbasin has told RAPSI.

According to Kolbasin, the appeal was filed on Tuesday against the Supreme Court’s ruling issued in March.

On March 20, the Supreme Court upheld the right of FSB to request information-dissemination organizers for data on decoding of user messages.

In its appeal, Telegram seeks to overturn that ruling.

According to lawyer Ramil Akhmetgaliyev, the decree in question issued on July 19, 2016, regulates provision of data for decoding messages of the Internet users. “The decree can’t be issued by FSB because it contradicts the federal law on information. Such measures can be adopted and regulated only by the government,” Akhmetgaliyev told RAPSI earlier.

In June 2017, Roskomnadzor requested Telegram management to comply with the Russian legislation or face blocking of the messenger. Telegram founder Pavel Durov agreed to register the service in Russia. However, he refused to abide by “laws incompatible with Telegram privacy policy,” Durov wrote on his VKontakte (VK) page in late June.

In July, Durov received the FSB requests to provide information for decoding messages of six app users. In September, law enforcement authorities drew up administrative protocols against Telegram because of law violation, as Durov failed to reply for the request.

The Meshchansky District Court of Moscow has fined the company 800,000 rubles ($14,000) for refusal to provide FSB with information on message decoding concerning several users. The messenger insists that it is technically impossible to transfer encryption keys. Telegram has been found guilty of failure to store and (or) furnish information on users and their messages to law enforcement agencies. The ruling has become effective.

In December, Telegram Messenger LLP filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of Russia seeking to cancel the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) decree establishing the procedure for provision of information on decoding of user data. On March 19, the lawsuit was dismissed. Telegram was obliged to comply with the FSB order within 15 days. The company filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against the fine, lawyer Damir Gainutdinov told RAPSI on March 22.

Moscow’s Tagansky District Court ordered restriction of access to Telegram in Russia on April 13. The court tasked Roskomnadzor with putting a stop to sending and receiving messages in Telegram until the messenger fulfills its obligations by providing deciphering keys. The ruling came into force immediately. Roskomnadzor started blocking the messenger on April 16.

According to the Federal Law “On Information, Information Technologies and the Protection of Information”, organizers of information distribution on the Internet must submit information about users and their messages to the authorized governmental bodies conducting investigative activities and ensuring the state security.


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Telegram appeals Supreme Court’s ruling on decoding messages

16:25 08/05/2018 Telegram Messenger LLP has appealed the Supreme Court’s refusal to cancel the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) decree establishing the procedure for provision of information on decoding of user data.
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