Russian Government Fines Telegram For Refusing To Give Up User's Data

Pappi Hex

Popular messaging app Telegram was fined on Monday by a Russian court for failing to provide the country's security services with encryption keys to reads user's messaging data.

According to reports from TASS news agency, the court imposed an 800,000-ruble fine (about $14,000) on Telegram for failure to "provide law enforcement agencies with information" about its users and their messages.

 Telegram is a free messaging platform which let users to exchange messages, photos, videos, files of different format, make calls between themselves. Every activity carried out on Telegram is encrypted and hidden from the Internet Service Providers and government agencies. The mode in which Telegram operates has attracted over 100 million users since its launch in 2013.

 Sometime ago in September, Telegram self-exiled Russian founder Pavel Durov said that the FSB had demanded backdoor access to the Telegram messaging platform, but Telegram did not  provide the access keys.

 Durov posted online the letter FSB had sent to Telegram in July demanding for "information necessary to decode user's sent, received, delivered and processed electronic messages."

In June 2017, Russia's state communications watchdog threatened to ban Telegram for failing to provide documents, though Telegram later registered but refused to agree on the data storage demands section. The document stated that all companies on the register must provide the FSB with information regarding users interactions.

 Telegram has 10 days to appeal the ruling which was carried out on Monday. However if the appeal fails, Telegram would be given a grace period to handover the encryption keys of which if they refuse, they will be blocked in Russia.

 When asked about a potential block of service in Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitriv Peskov said, "As far as i know...there is no discussion of a block at this time."

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