Russia orders Telegram to hand over users’ encryption keys to FSB

Russia’s Supreme Court rejected Telegram’s appeal against the Federal Security Service (FSB).

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.

Today, Russian judge Alla Nazarova upheld that ruling and denied Telegram’s appeal. The company will have to hand over users’ encryption keys to the FSB in the course of the next 15 days otherwise the messenger will be blocked throughout the Russian Federation. Telegram plans to appeal the latest ruling as well.

belsat.eu, photo by REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

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