MOSCOW, October 16 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court fined the Telegram messaging app 800,000 rubles ($14,000) for refusal to provide information to the Federal Security Service (FSB) for message decoding, the court’s spokesperson Yulia Bocharova told RAPSI on Monday.
The service was found guilty of failure to store and (or) furnish information on users and their messages to law enforcement agencies, Bocharova added.
In July, Telegram founder Pavel 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.
The application developers regularly face charges from regulating authorities in Russia and other countries.
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.
Roskomnadzor demanded Telegram to follow the rules set for organizers of information distribution. “There is only one requirement, and it is simple: fill out the questionnaire with information about Telegram’s managing company sent to you,” Zharov said. The company also needs to officially ask the watchdog to enter this information in a special registry, he added. The head of Roskomnadzor noted that Telegram’s legal status would not be affected.
By giving consent to the messenger’s adding to the register, we do not assume “any supplemental obligations,” Durov wrote. We can only promise the same level of cooperation with the Russian regulator as in other countries, specifically, coordination in removal of public information connected with propaganda of terrorism, drugs, calls to violence, child pornography and combatting spam delivery, he stated.
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.