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Russia's media watchdog to consider unblocking Telegram messenger

August 28, 15:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The watchdog will consider this possibility if the messenger provides keys for decrypting users’ messages

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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Russia’s media watchdog will consider the possibility of unblocking Telegram, if the cloud-based instant messaging service complies with the court’s ruling to provide the keys for decrypting users’ messages to the Federal Security Service (FSB), Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of the department, told TASS. "Our colleagues should apply to our appropriate authorities - the Federal Security Service - in order to interact with them, as required by Russian law, and to provide the data they are obliged to provide in Russia," Subbotin said. "Unblocking is possible, if they execute a court decision," he added. He recalled that according to the court’s decision Telegram fails to meet its obligation as an organizer of dissemination of information. "When they meet their obligations than we will be able to speak about implementation of the court’s decision and actually about ending the blocking process on the part of Roskomnadzor," he added.

Telegram's policy

Telegram now can disclose the user's IP address and mobile phone number upon the receipt of a court decision confirming that the user is suspected of terrorism. That is according to an updated privacy policy posted on the messenger's website. Up to now, Telegram has never transmitted user data. The corresponding report (on the transmission of data) will be placed in one of the messenger’s channels, the company says. On April 13, Moscow’s Tagansky Court satisfied the claim of the country’s telecom and media watchdog to block access to the Telegram in Russia due to its failure to provide the keys for decrypting users’ messages to the Federal Security Service (FSB). On April 16, communication providers embarked on carrying out the blocking process.

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