THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT has filed a lawsuit seeking to block access to messaging app Telegram in the country after it refused to hand over encryption keys.
Back in March, Telegram lost an appeal in Russia after the country's Supreme Court ruled that it must continue providing user data to the country's security services, the FSB, so that it prevent terrorist attacks.
Over the past few years, the Putin administration has been trying to monitor electronic communications in a bid to fight terrorism and in 2016, it implemented a new law calling on firms to decrypt user data.
Telegram was given a deadline of 4 April to hand over the keys but the company refused to do so, claiming that the way the service is built means it's unable to access them.
It also claims that the country's demands violate the Russian Constitution which entitles citizens to privacy of correspondence.
Telegram's lawyer Pavel Chikov last month said: "The FSB's argument that encryption keys can't be considered private information defended by the Constitution is cunning.
"It's like saying, 'I've got a password from your email, but I don't control your email, I just have the possibility to control."
It said in a statement that it's "demanding the limiting of access on Russian territory in relation to the FSB's request and Telegram's non-compliance with its legal requirements as a "distributor of information"
Telegram said in response to the news: "The position of Telegram remains the same - the requirements of the FSB to provide access to private correspondence of users are unconstitutional, not based on law, technically and legally unenforceable, hence the requirement of blocking is also unreasonable.
Russia's latest move comes days after Iran reportedly moved to access to Telegram following a series of protests earlier this year believed to have been organised through the platform. µ
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