Head of Roskomnadzor threatened Durov with Telegram blocking

Head of Roskomnadzor threatened Durov with Telegram blocking
Pavel Durov Photo: Albert Gea / Reuters

Head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov threatened to block it in an open letter to the administration of the messenger Telegram. Zharov noted that the time allotted by Roskomnadzor to take a decision on the blocking expires.

Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) Alexander Zharov personally warned Pavel Durov, the administration of Telegram and its users about the blocking of the messenger, if the company refuses to comply with Russian legislation. This is stated in an open letter of Zharov, published on the site of Roskomnadzor.

"The requirement is one, and it's simple: fill out the sent questionnaire with information about the company that manages Telegram. And officially send to Roskomnadzor to include these data in the register of information dissemination organizers. However, until now we have not received any response from the messenger's administration," Zharov said.

He stressed that in case of refusal to fulfill the duties of the "organizer of information dissemination", Telegram in Russia should be blocked. "Until we get the required information," said the Head of Roskomnadzor.

According to him, almost every day the department sends letters "on all available addresses Telegram" explaining the requirements of the Russian law on the organizers of information dissemination, however, the time allocated by Roskomnadzor for a decision, expires.

"Therefore, I publicly appeal to the Telegram team and personally to Pavel Valeryevich Durov: comply with Russian legislation! The choice is yours," concluded Zharov.

Adviser to the President on Internet Development German Klimenko, commenting on Zharov's open letter to Durov, told RNS that everyone should be equal before the law.

"As far as I remember, my career as an advisor began with the fact that when I asked Telegram I said that sooner or later Pavel Durov would have to comply with the laws of the countries in which he works," he said. "And yes, all market players should be equal in respect of the execution of laws," Klimenko concluded.

On 19 June, the Head of Roskomnadzor promised to apply to Pavel Durov personally with a request to provide information about the messenger in order to include it in the appropriate register of information dissemination organizers, Zharov said it during his speech in the State Duma.

Since January 1, in accordance with Federal Law No. 149 On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection, the organizers of information dissemination are required to store data on the reception, transmission and processing of "voice information, written text, images, sounds, or other electronic communications of users within six months from the end of the implementation of such actions ". In addition, they must provide this information at the first request of the Russian authorities, the law says.

In May, Roskomnadzor had already sent several messages to Telegram with the requirements to provide information about the resource required by the new law, the newspaper Vedomosti reported. Otherwise, the messenger would be blocked on the territory of Russia, it was said in the publication. However, then the department called it rumors and refused further comments.

Head of the Ministry of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov, answering the question about the possible blocking of Telegram, said that his department does not pursue the goals of blocking resources. At the same time, he stresses that this applies to those resources that work within the framework of Russian legislation. "There are no such lists of resources that can be blocked," Nikiforov added.

Then, in mid-May, a representative of Telegram once again refused to share information with any authorities. "No other government or special service in the world has received a bit of information from us. It will always be so," the representative of the messenger said.

According to him, encryption keys are "divided into several parts", these parts are in different data centers. They are in different jurisdictions, so in order to force Telegram to issue any data, an unrealistic level of cooperation between several states will be required," Telegram concluded.

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