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Telegram files appeal to fight Russian Supreme Court’s decision

May 08, 2018, 13:05 UTC+3

On April 13, Moscow’s Tagansky court blocked access to Telegram in Russia over its failure to provide encryption keys to the FSB

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© Alexandr Ryumin/TASS

MOSCOW, May 8. /TASS/. Representatives of the Telegram messenger appealed against the decision taken by the Supreme Court of Russia, recognizing lawfulness of the order of the Federal Security Service establishing a procedure for submission of user messages deciphering keys to the authority, counsel Ramil Akhmetgaliev told TASS on Tuesday.

"I request to completely reverse the decision of the Russian Supreme Court and make a new decision, recognizing the Order of the Russian Federal Security Service No. 432 of July 19, 2016 as invalid and as taken by an unauthorized agency with excess of powers, setting forth an extra-judicial method of receiving control over correspondence of an undefined range of persons and containing broad limits of discretion for the law enforcement agency, threatening security of citizens," the counsel says.

On April 13, Moscow’s Tagansky court blocked access to the cloud-based instant messaging service, Telegram, in Russia over its failure to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service, the FSB. The court satisfied the lawsuit by Russia’s telecom watchdog filed on April 6. Telegram said those demands would be impossible to implement since the keys were stored on users’ devices.

In July 2017, the FSB demanded that Telegram provide the keys to decrypt user messages citing its own administrative order, which established the procedure for providing the encryption keys. Telegram’s top officials said that this requirement was impossible to meet technically and tried to challenge it in several court battles, but to no avail. On March 20, 2018, Russia’s Supreme Court rejected the company’s lawsuit. After the court ruling, the Russian watchdog said the messaging service had 15 days to provide the required information to the country’s security agencies.

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