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Telegram founder rejects watchdog’s demands as contrary to Russia's Constitution

June 26, 10:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Telegram founder also said that the possible blocking of the messenger would create no issues for terrorists because they would still have dozens of other messengers at their disposal

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Pavel Durov

Pavel Durov

© REUTERS/Albert Gea

MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. The Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor’s demands on providing data about the Telegram messenger’s managing company run contrary to the country’s constitution, the messenger’s founder Pavel Durov wrote in a statement on his VKontakte social network page.

"The Roskomnadzor head said that Telegram had to provide decryption keys to the special services so that they could read users’ messages and detect terrorists," the statement reads. "This demand runs contrary to Article 23 of the Russian Constitution which concerns correspondence privacy. At the same time, it shows that the lack of understanding what encryption is like in 2017," Durov added.

"The secret information exchange is based on final encryption, while messenger owners do not have any decryption keys as these keys are only available on the users’ devices," he pointed out.

The Telegram founder also said that the possible blocking of the messenger would create no issues for terrorists and drug dealers because they would still have dozens of other messengers at their disposal. "No country in the world has yet blocked all of such messengers and VPN services (virtual private networks - TASS). The whole of internet will have to be blocked for the sake of defeating terrorists," Durov added.

Head of the Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov earlier personally requested that Durov provide data about Telegram’s managing company so that it could be included in the information disseminator register as it should be done in accordance with the Russian legislation. In case Telegram does not provide this data in due time, the messenger will be blocked in Russia until the information is provided.

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