Tagansky court of Moscow ordered Telegram to block its messenger in Russia. This is the court satisfying the demand of the telecommunications watchdog of Russia. As a plausible reason, the social media company did not provide keys to the Federal Security Service for decrypting messages. Judge Yulia Smolina specifically said that this must be done instantly by Telegram.
The ban on access to information will be in force until the FSB’s demands are met on providing keys for decrypting user messages. – Judge Yulia Smolina
According to FSB, the suicide bomber and plotter of the terrorist attack in the St. Petersburg metro in April 2017 used Telegram Messenger with highly encrypted information. The attack took the life of 15 people.
Then, the agency sent a request to Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov to provide info to decode messages of six phones that were used concerning the attack. The request was not answered.
In October 2017, a Moscow court charged 800,000 rubles or $13,000 on Telegram for refusing to meet the demand of the FSB. Despite the social media appeal, the fine was ruled legal.
In December 2017, a lawsuit was filed by Telegram with the Russian Supreme Court, stating that FSB’s order was invalid. This was where the establishment of furnishing decryption keys took place. The company said that FSB doesn’t have a ground to issue such an order because it goes against the law demanding a court judgment for access to users’ messages.
The Supreme Court, on March 20, turned down the lawsuit and decided that the FSB order is legal and not enforced until it has been issued only once.
Keep an eye on this space to get the next update on the matter.