Court allows journalist’s claim against FSB and Russian media watchdog upon access to Telegram encryption keys

Court allows journalist’s claim against FSB and Russian media watchdog upon access to Telegram encryption keys
Oleg Kashin

Earlier, the court refused to accept the lawsuit of another journalist Alexander Plyushchev.

The Meshchansky District Court of Moscow registered an administrative claim of journalist Oleg Kashin to the FSB and the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor). The claim is based, according to Kashin, on the illegal requirement of these state structures to provide the Telegram encryption keys.

The date of the first hearing on the case is still unknown. It is reported that claim’s registration dated November 24, and the judge in the case will be Irina Afanasyeva.

Earlier the Meshchansky District Court refused to allow another journalist Alexander Plyushchev’s claim. After the refusal, the well-known radio host of Ekho Moskvy said that he would file a complaint with the Moscow City Court.

Recall that in late October, journalists Plyushchev and Kashin reported that they were going to file lawsuits against the Federal Security Service and Roskomnadzor, because they consider the request of the secret services to provide decryption keys as an attempted perusal that affects journalists' right to confidential communication with sources. The international human rights group Agora represents the interests of journalists.

Agora also pleads interests of Telegram representatives. The messenger's administration earlier appealed the court's decision on a fine of 800 thousand rubles ($13.600) for refusing to provide the FSB with the encryption keys to decrypt the correspondence of the users, but the court upheld the decision.

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