MOSCOW, June 4. /TASS/. The Yandex company will comply with the Russian legislation in accordance with the Russian Security Service’s (FSB) request to hand over the encryption keys as long as the data privacy is not breached, Yandex press service informed on Tuesday.
"Today, reports appeared in the media claiming that Yandex was approached with the request to hand over our encryption keys. The law cited by the media applies not only to Yandex, but also to all disseminators of information available on the territory of the Russian Federation, including email clients, messengers and social networks. Under this law, information "necessary to decode messages" must be handed over, but this does not suppose the request to hand over the encryption keys necessary to decipher the whole traffic," the company’s message informed.
The press service added that the law’s aim is to protect the country’s security interests. "We fully understand the importance of this aim. However, it is possible to comply with the law without breaching the users’ data privacy. We find it important to find a balance between security and user privacy, as well as to consider the principles of equal regulation for all market players," the company explained.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russian media outlet RBС informed that several months ago, FSB had requested Yandex to provide the encryption keys in order to monitor users’ data in Yandex.Pochta (an email service) and Yandex.Disk (a cloud service). According to RBС, Yandex has failed to provide these keys within ten days of the request. Earlier, a Russian court blocked the Telegram messenger for its refusal to share encryption keys, RBС reminded.
Yandex.Pochta and Yandex.Disk are both listed on the register of information disseminators, that is, internet platforms where users can exchange messages. According to the Yarovaya package of laws, since July 20, 2016, the FSB has the right to request the "information necessary to decode incoming, outgoing, delivered and/or processed electronic messages by Internet users" from entities belonging on the list of information disseminators.
The Yandex press service informed TASS that the company remains in full correspondence with the Russian law.