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Telegram founder agrees to register service in Russia

However, Pavel Durov refuses to comply with Yarovaya Package of laws

MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. Creator of Telegram messenger Pavel Durov agreed to include the messenger in the information register of the Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor, he said on his profile page in VKontakte.

However, Durov noted that Telegram will not provide access to the correspondence of users fulfilling the requirements of the package of anti-terrorist laws (the so-called "Yarovaya Package").

"Telegram developer’s registration data is not a secret and is available to anyone in open sources. If this is the true extent of the regulator’s wishes, I have no objections to using this data to register Telegram Messenger LLP in the register of information distributors," he said.

"However, we will not comply with unconstitutional and technically impossible Yarovaya Package laws - as well as with other laws incompatible with protection of privacy and Telegram's privacy policy," Durov said.

Earlier, Head of Roskomnadzor Aleksandr Zharov said that the inclusion of Telegram Messenger LLP in the register does not automatically mean access to user correspondence.

Durov noted that the company does not incur any additional obligations, adding that Telegram will cooperate with the Russian regulator at the same level as with regulators in other countries. Durov explained that this includes "working together to remove public materials related to the propaganda of terrorism, drugs, violence and child pornography, as well as working to curb the distribution of spam."

"I cannot predict how this statement will affect the position of the regulator, but I am sure in one thing - if Telegram is really blocked in Russia, it will not happen because we refused to provide data about our company," he concluded.

Head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov on June 23 personally appealed to Pavel Durov with a request to provide data on the company managing the messenger - this is necessary under Russian law to operate in Russia. If Telegram failed to provide the required data within the specified time, the messenger would be blocked in Russia until the information is provided.

In response, Durov stated that the requirements of Roskomnadzor to provide information to the department contradicted the Constitution of the Russian Federation in terms of privacy of correspondence.