Telegram messenger asks Russia’s Supreme Court to cancel FSB decree
MOSCOW, December 8 (RAPSI) – Telegram Messenger LLP has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court of Russia seeking to cancel the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) decree establishing the procedure for provision of information on decoding of user data, lawyer Ramil Akhmetgaliyev told RAPSI on Friday.
According to the lawyer, the decree in question, issued on July 19, 2016, regulates provision of data for decoding messages of the Internet users. “The decree can’t be issued by FSB because it contradicts the federal law on information. Such measures can be adopted and regulated only by the government,” Akhmetgaliyev said.
The lawsuit has not been registered in court yet.
In October, Telegram appealed a ruling of the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow fining the company 800,000 rubles (nearly $14,000) for refusing to provide the Federal Security Service (FSB) with information on message decoding concerning several users.
According to one of Telegram’s arguments listed by lawyer Pavel Chikov, the court did not check if the company even has the data, which is of interest to FSB. He notes that the information in question is not replicated on the company’s servers and that messenger had no technical means to abide by the ruling.
On October 16, the court found Telegram guilty of failure to store and (or) furnish information on users and their messages to law enforcement agencies.
On October 25, journalists Alexander Plyushchev and Oleg Kashin filed lawsuits against FSB. The applicants explained that actions of the security service violate their right to confidential conversation with sources of information. Later, the court dismissed these lawsuits.
In June, head of the communications watchdog Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov requested the Telegram management to comply with the Russian legislation or face blocking of the messenger.
In July, Durov reportedly received the FSB requests to provide information for decoding messages of six app users. In September, law enforcement authorities drew up administrative protocols against Telegram because of law violation, as Durov failed to reply for the request.
According to the Federal Law “On Information, Information Technologies and the Protection of Information”, organizers of information distribution on the Internet must submit information about users and their messages to the authorized governmental bodies conducting investigative activities and ensuring the state security.