A Russian court has paved the way for the government to block the Telegram messaging app over its creators' failure to provide authorities with access to users' encrypted messages, it was widely reported on Friday. The watchdog warned the service that it would take the matter to court unless the keys are provided within 15 days.
The ruling judge, Yulia Smolina of the Tagansky District Court in Moscow, said, "the court has ruled to refuse the request of the Telegram party and look into the case without participation of Telegram representatives". It's also worth mentioning that Roskomnadzor can only order ISPs to block Russian users' access to the application, should Telegram continue to lose in court.
Telegram replied with a counter-suit in which it tried to have the FSB order canceled over technical formalities, but in late March of this year, the Supreme Court sided with the FSB and ordered Telegram to hand over the encryption keys to the agency without court warrants. In July of previous year, the FSB requested that Telegram grant the agency access to a decryption process to view messages.
In an online statement Friday, Telegram founder Pavel Durov continued to resist Russia's demands, saying the government lacked the means to punish his company for its noncompliance. "At any given moment, a government can crash their stocks by threatening to block revenue streams from its markets and thus force these companies to do unusual things", he said.
Iran drone intercepted in Feb was on attack mission
Iran has been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most supportive ally against insurgents throughout the conflict. Syria then shot down an Israeli F-16 fighter jet , the first Israeli plane lost to enemy fire in decades.
However, Telegram is also popular among human rights activists for the same reason, as it allows them to communicate relatively securely to a large group of people. Though, Financial Times says the ban will likely go into effect after Telegram has exhausted all its appeals next month.
The banning puts that the Kremlin at a somewhat awkward spot because Telegram is broadly used by federal government agencies, for example President Vladimir V. Putin's media office. Rumors are that it will move to Viber. Telegram lawyers skipped the hearing in protest.
"At Telegram, we don't care about revenue streams or even ads". Though both Facebook and Google have butted heads with Russian authorities, Telegram is only the second universal platform to be formally banned (Linkedin was the first).
The company argues that FSB, Russiaâs main security firm, is violating shopper rights. Telegram is one of the popular apps in the world with over 200 million users in the world. Let us know in the comments section below.