Supreme Court in Russia ruled Telegram must provide FSB encryption keys

A Supreme Court in Russia ruled Telegram must provide the FSB with encryption keys to access users’ messaging data to avoid being blocked.

Bad news for Telegram, a Supreme Court in Russia ruled the company must provide the FSB with encryption keys to access users’ messaging data. If Telegram will refuse to comply the request the authorities will block the service in Russia.

Media watchdog Roskomnadzor asked Telegram to share technical details to access electronic messages shared through the instant messaging app.

Roskomnadzor requested to “provide the FSB with the necessary information to decode electronic messages received, transmitted, or being sent” within 15 days.

In June, Roskomnadzor, the Russian Government threatened to ban the popular instant messaging app because the company refused to be compliant with the country’s new data protection laws. In July,  the company agreed to register with Russia authorities to avoid the local ban, but it did not share user data.

Telegram

Telegram appealed against the ruling, but the Supreme Court rejected the request of the company.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov labeled the FSB request as “technically impossible to carry out” and unconstitutional, then he left Russia in September 2017 in response to the request of the FSB.

In July, Russia’s Duma approved the bill to prohibit tools used to surf outlawed websites

Russian authorities requested private firms operating in the country to provide the FSB with information on user activities, all the data related to Russian users must be stored in local servers according to anti-terror legislation that passed in 2016.

 

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – instant messaging, Russia)


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