FSB required Telegram to send decryption keys over e-mail
As e-mail address the reception e-mail of the Lubyanka (FSB Central Board is located on Lubyanka – Ed.) was indicated.
As it became known during the hearings in the Meshchansky court, which recognized the decision to impose a fine on the company Telegram messenger legal, the FSB of Russia receives secret files using regular e-mail. As Fontanka informs, lawyer of Agora Dmitry Dinze representing the interests of the messenger told this. According to him, in July 2017, the Federal Security Service sent a request to Telegram owner Pavel Durov to provide information for decoding messages. And the data should be sent to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. In the list of e-mail addresses of territorial security agencies, this one is indicated as the main e-mail. In particular, it receives correspondence to the FSB Public Relations Center (public reception). People can also apply for archival documents to the Central Archive of the FSB sending over e-mail. The edition reports that this address is known to employees of at least 77 thousand Russian media registered in the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor).
Agora noted that if Telegram agreed to provide the required data, the mailbox could not put in it and the Telegram traffic would simply ‘bust’ the server of the special service.
In addition, as noted by representatives of Telegram, the provision of FSB reception e-mail as a contact address deprives Telegram of confidentiality guarantees, as a variety of employees gets access to the e-mail.
Recall, December 12, the Moscow Meshchansky Court dismissed the complaint of Telegram for a fine of 800 thousand rubles ($13.600) for refusing to provide data to decode messages.
The FSB required information on six phone numbers. Among them there were the telephone numbers of the brothers Azimov, arrested in the case of the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. However, lawyer Dinze pointed out that the defendants did not use Telegram's messenger. And access to correspondence from July 12, 2017 was required, while they were detained back in April.
In addition, according to Dinze, in addition to the fact that the FSB’s request was illegal, it is simply technically impossible to give access to the decryption keys.
In mid-October, the magistrate’s court fined Telegram for 800 thousand rubles for refusing to comply with the FSB’s request.
As Meduza points out, now that the court decision has entered into force, Roskomnadzor has a reason to block the messenger in Russia, which can happen at any time.