Telegram and Russia have had a dispute going on for a while now, but it appears that the messaging service has received a blow. Telegram has been wanting to prevent Federal Security Service (FSB) from accessing user data on its platform, and now, according to Bloomberg, the messaging service has lose the case before the Russian Supreme Court.
We learned last year that the FSB (the success to KGB) demanded from Telegram that they hand over encryption keys to allow the agency to view messages sent on the service. Russian had claimed that the app was used to plan terrorist attacks and the request was being made for national security concerns. Panel Durov, founder of Telegram, repeatedly refused to hand over any data to the FSB because it would compromise users’ security, but did register the app with the Russian government.
In court, the FSB argued that holding encryption keys wn’t actually constitute a breach of users’ privacy. This is because in order to actually collect data on any Telegram users, the agency would still have to obtain a court order.
While Telegram has seen a blow in this situation, it plans to appeal the Supreme Court’s decision, so this isn’t over just yet. If Telegram were to lose, it could face a possible ban from Russia and a hefty fine.