All news

The battle to beat the block: Telegram’s attorneys see success in court efforts

One of the goals set by Telegram's founder was postponing the decision on the messenger’s blocking at least until the end of 2017

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Telegram’s litigation team has achieved its immediate goals set for them by Telegram’s creator, Pavel Durov, related to the dispute with the FSB (Russia’s Federal Security Service) and the Federal Service for Supervision of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, said Telegram's lawyer Pavel Chikov on Monday, following the start of the messenger’s blocking in Russia.

According to him, in October 2017, Durov drew up a list of immediate goals to be achieved - among them, postponing the decision on the messenger’s blocking at least until the end of 2017.

"In any case, we have managed to delay the blocking for exactly six months, and nine months have passed since the initial FSB request. There have been thousands of media reports on the matter. The issue of correspondents’ right to privacy is on the agenda now," Chikov wrote on his Telegram channel. "We consider the first stage of our work to be over, but there are many important steps ahead. The watchdogs cannot defeat progress."

The lawyer added that an appeal against the Tagansky court’s decision is underway.

On Friday, 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.