MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. The Russian media watchdog, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, has filed a lawsuit against the Telegram messenger for failing to act on an official request to furnish the keys in order to decrypt user messages within the prescribed time limit, the watchdog’s press service reported on Friday.
"Based on Article 15.4 of the Federal Law on Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information, on Friday, April 6, Roskomnadzor filed a lawsuit with Moscow’s Tagansky District Court seeking to restrict access to the information resources of the online information dissemination organizer, Telegram Messenger Limited Liability Partnership," the press service said.
The media watchdog noted that it had launched the legal battle because Telegram Messenger Limited Liability Partnership failed to comply with its obligations as an information dissemination organizer as stipulated by law.
In July 2017, Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, demanded that Telegram provide the keys to decrypt user messages relying on the provisions of its own administrative order, which has established the procedure for providing the keys to it. Telegram’s top officials said that this requirement was impossible to meet technically and tried to challenge it in several courts but to no avail. On March 20, 2018, Russia’s Supreme Court rejected the company’s lawsuit.
After this court ruling, the Russian media watchdog said the messaging service had 15 days to provide the required information to the country’s security agencies. The deadline expired on April 4, after which the Federal Service exercised its right to file a lawsuit demanding restricting access to the web resources of Telegram Messenger Limited in Russia.