The Russian Government threatened to ban Telegram because it refused to comply data protection laws.
“There is one demand, and it is simple: to fill in a form with information on the company that controls Telegram,” said Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor.
“And to officially send it to Roskomnadzor to include this data in the registry of organizers of dissemination of information. In case of refusal… Telegram shall be blocked in Russia until we receive the needed information.”
The Russian Personal Data Law was implemented since September 1st, 2015, it requests foreign tech companies to store the personal data of Russian citizens within the country. The Law was designed for protecting Russian citizens from surveillance activities of foreign agencies such as the NSA.
Since January 1, the new Russian Data Protection Laws request foreign tech companies to store past six months of the personal data of Russians and encryption keys within the country. The companies are obliged to provide the access to the retained data if requested by authorities.
According to the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency, the terrorists who killed 15 people in Saint Petersburg in April were communicating through the Telegram encrypted messaging service.
The Russian intelligence asked Telegram to share users’ chats and crypto keys on demand to allow government investigations on terrorists abusing the instant messaging app as a communication channel.
The use of the popular encrypted messaging app is widespread among the militants of the terrorist organization in Russia and abroad, The use of Telegram has eclipsed the use of other social media platforms, including Twitter.
Now the company has agreed to register with new Russian Data Protection Laws, but its founder Pavel Durov clarified that his company doesn’t intend to share users’ confidential data with Russian authorities. Telegram wouldn’t store citizens’ information on servers located in Russian.
No, we won't ever comply with these laws, we only provided public data for registration. Full statement: https://t.co/JvzgwAsOwV
— Pavel Durov (@durov) June 28, 2017
The Roskomnadzor announced on Wednesday that company had finally presented all the requirements.
Durov highlighted that Telegram takes care of the privacy of its users, the company will only share basic information as explained by the founder in a message published on VK.com.