Roskomnadzor gave Telegram 15 day to furnish the FSB with necessary data
The messenger must provide the FSB with the information necessary to decode messages within 15 days.
Roskomnadzor sent a notice to Telegram Messenger Limited about the need to fulfill the duties of the organizer of information dissemination. This is stated on the website of the agency.
The message also says that the above duties must be fulfilled within 15 days from the receipt of the notification in accordance with part 1 of Art. 15.4 of Law No. 149-FZ. In court Telegram is represented by Agora’s lawyer Ramil Akhmetgaliev. He stated that the messenger can not fulfill the requirement of the FSB. According to him, Telegram did not respond to the request of the FSB to submit the keys. "The company considers it its responsibility to preserve the privacy of users' correspondence," he stressed.
Earlier, on Tuesday, March 20, judge of the Supreme Court of Russia Alla Nazarova dismissed the claim of the lawyers of Telegram on the cancellation of the order of the FSB concerning the decipherment of messages. Nazarova said that the claim of Telegram to the FSB regarding the cancellation of the agency's order to disclose the keys to the users' correspondence was dismissed, Meduza reports.
Telegram's lawyer noted that the FSB's request for the transfer of encryption keys violates the secrecy of correspondence. To this the representative of the FSB reminded that "the information requested is not information constituting the secrecy of correspondence". Akhmetgaliev also recalled that the order of the FSB was signed a day before the adoption of the law, which gave the special services such powers.
The agency responded that the order came into force only a month later, so there was no violation. Nazarova finally ruled that the suit was denied, the decision can be appealed in the Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Court.
In October 2017, Telegram Messenger LLP was fined 800.000 rubles ($13.8 thousand), as the court found that the company, having refused to provide the FSB with the keys to decrypt the messages, violated part 2 of Art. 13.31 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (non-fulfillment of the duty to store and / or provide state bodies engaged in operative and search activity or security provision with information on the facts of reception, transmission, delivery and (or) processing of voice information, written text, images, sounds or other electronic users’ messages and information about such users by the organizer of the dissemination of information on the Internet).
In December 2017, Telegram was again fined for refusing to give the FSB encryption keys from users' correspondence. The messenger was threatened with blocking in the territory of Russia.
The FSB gained power thanks to a series of laws that are called 'Yarovaya package' - by the name of one of the authors, deputy Irina Yarovaya. These laws also oblige providers and cellular operators to store user data.
The special service attempted to gain access to the accounts that allegedly belonged to the brothers Azimov - the defendants of the case on the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg subway, which claimed lives of 16 people.
Two months later, in the course of the appellate review, the decision was upheld. The judge referred to the order of the FSB No. 432 as of July 19, 2016, on the basis of which the special service demanded from the messenger's administration to provide the keys for decoding the messages. This document features six points and regulates the procedure by which the organizers of the dissemination of information must respond to requests of the special services.
The lawyers of the international human rights group Agora, who represent the interests of Telegram in court, seek to invalidate the FSB’s order. They insist that the special service exceeded its authority by adopting this document, since only the government can establish the order of interaction between the organizers of information dissemination and state bodies.
In addition, Ramil Akhmetgaliev asserts that the order establishes an extrajudicial procedure for violating the secrecy of correspondence, that is, contradicts the federal law On Operational Investigative Activities, and Telegram, taking into account the provisions of the Constitution and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, must ensure the inviolability of the private life of citizens.
The FSB considers all arguments of the representatives of Telegram insolvent and asks to refuse to satisfy the claim. The Ministry of Justice agrees with the special service, the department, in particular, believes that the order of the FSB came into force only together with the federal law, which was enacted. Therefore, the Ministry of Justice claims that the adoption of the order before the law did not entail any legal consequences.