Roskomnadzor notified the management of Telegram “about the need to fulfill the duties of the organizer of the dissemination of information” on the 20th of March. According to Meduza, this is only the first stage of the procedure for blocking the messenger in Russia.
Last December Telegram received a fine of 800 thousand rubles for refusing to give the Federal Security Office encryption keys in connection with the innovations in the legislation of the Russian Federation, which received the name “Yarovaya package“.
Representatives of Telegram are standing for a firm viewpoint – they are categorically against disclosing the secret of users’ correspondence. According to the leaders of the messenger, that if the FSB wants access to this information, an appropriate court decision is necessary.
The founder of Telegram Pavel Durov said that even under the threat of blocking, he would not provide the Federal Security Office with encryption keys.
Threats to block Telegram unless it gives up private data of its users won't bear fruit. Telegram will stand for freedom and privacy.
— Pavel Durov (@durov) March 20, 2018
Telegram has 15 days to transfer the necessary information to the Federal Security Office. After this period Roskomnadzor will be able to apply to the court to block Telegram. The messenger’s leadership will be able to appeal, but if the appeal commission takes the side of Roskomnadzor, and the messenger does not comply with the order, a second warning will be sent. The blocking, as the law says, can only happen after Telegram does not fulfill the second demand.