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Telegram CEO vows to appeal court-imposed fine

The court fined Telegram $14,000 for its refusal to supply the FSB with data for decoding users’ messages

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Telegram founder Pavel Durov will file an appeal against a Moscow court’s decision to fine the messenger 800,000 rubles ($14,000) for refusing to meet a request from the Federal Security Service (the FSB) to furnish information required for decoding users’ messages.

"The FSB’s wish to obtain access to private correspondence is an attempt to expand its influence at the expense of citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms," Durov said on his page in the social network VKontakte on Monday.

"Today’s court ruling can be appealed against until the moment the FSB’s lawsuit has been considered by a judge familiar with the chief law of Russia - its Constitution," he said, adding that he would hire a team of lawyers within two days to handle the case.
"The FSB’s demands cannot be met technically and run counter to Article 23 of Russia’s Constitution: ‘Each person has the right to the secrecy of correspondence, telephone conversations as well as postal, telegraph and other messages," Durov noted.

Earlier, a court in Moscow fined Telegram 800,000 rubles ($14,000) for its refusal to supply the FSB with information for decoding users’ messages.

According to the lawsuit, the FSB on July 12 addressed Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov with a request to provide information needed for decoding messages exchanged between the users of six phone numbers. July 19 was set as the deadline. The request failed to be acted upon within the established deadline. There has been no other reply from Telegram, as well.