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Messaging App Telegram fined after refusing to provide user data to Russia, says won’t compromise user data

The Meshchansky Court of Moscow fine Telegram 800,000 rubbles (the equivalent of about $14,000) for failure to provide the Russian government with decryption keys to its user messages.

It isn’t an outright ban, which is what Russia threatened Telegram with, and the size of the fine means that Russia’s carrying this out for the show. Telegram founder Pavel Durov submitted about the decision on the sociable marketing site VK (which he also founded). He claims that the needs of the FSB, Russia’s condition security organization, are unconstitutional. Also, they aren’t feasible from a technical standpoint. In the end, providing backdoor usage of an application isn’t exactly a straightforward endeavour.

Durov happens to be working on appealing the decision. His VK post asks any lawyers interested in this full case to contact him; they shall choose from the applicants in the next few days. It’s not a large fine, to be certain, so Telegram could pay it just, but it’s clear that Durov desires to take a stand on the problem of user personal privacy.

Telegram made a symbolic concession to sweeping new Russian data laws and regulations earlier this year when it shared contact details with the country’s marketing communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor. Mr Durov said then that Telegram would not adhere to data retention requirements, which are considered so unworkable they could bankrupt Russia’s mobile providers when they come into force next year.

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