According to a lawsuit filed today by the Russian government, they want to limit the messaging app Telegram domestically, a move that is escalating the battle between the government and the service.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulator, claims in court that Telegram has not been compliant with legal obligations and says that the service is an “organizer of information distribution,” according to Reuters. Telegram’s lawyer, Pavel Chikov, has called the lawsuit as “groundless,” according to BBC’s report.
All of this started last year when the FSB, the successor to the KGB, demanded that the founder, Pavel Durov, hand over encryption keys to the service. FSB claimed that terrorists had been using the app to plan an attack, and the needed access to it in the name of national security. Durov outright refused, even though the Russian government has threatened to ban Telegram if it failed to cooperate. Now, it appears that the Russian government is ready to make good on the promise to ban Telegram.
In March, Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov said on Twitter: “Threats to block Telegram unless it gives up private data of its users will not bear fruit. Telegram will stand for freedom and privacy.”