Russia blocks Telegram messaging service

A Moscow court has ruled for Roskomnadsor, Russia’s Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications, which sued out the blocking of Telegram Messenger in the country.

According to the ruling, Telegram is to be immediately blocked in Russia, RTVi reports from the courtroom.

As reported earlier, the watchdog filed a lawsuit against the company over its refusal to provide the Russian security services with encryption keys. Earlier Roskomnadzor gave Telegram time until 4 April. The representatives of the company say that the architecture of the the service does not allow for such a move.

In 2016, Russia enacted laws to combat terrorism, which required messaging services to provide authorities with the ability to decrypt user correspondence.

In 2017, FSB, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB, demanded from Telegram to share its encryption keys. When the company refused to subject themselves to their requirement, it faced a fine of $14,000 fined for failing to provide ‘information about the facts of receiving, transmissing, delivering and (or) processing messages passed by users, as well as information about those users.

In response, Telegram appealed to court asking to declare such demands illegal. The FSB argued in court that holding encryption keys did not actually constitute a breach of users’ privacy.

In March, Russia’s Supreme Court rejected Telegram’s appeal against the Federal Security Service (FSB)., photo by Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS

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