The Russian state communications watchdog’s latest move against Telegram is to file a lawsuit to block the secure messaging app, after the company’s repeated refusal to grant the government access to user data, Reuters reported.
In 2016, Russia enacted laws to deal with terrorism, which required messaging services to provide authorities with the ability to decrypt user correspondence.
Telegram was then fined because it would not disclose its encryption keys to the Federal Security Service (FSB). This was followed by an appeal to Russia’s Supreme Court, which was lost last month.
The company turned to the European Court of Human Rights regarding the RUB800,000 ($13,817) fine.
Meanwhile, Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor filed a lawsuit at a Moscow court “with a request to restrict access on the territory of Russia to the information resources of…Telegram Messenger Limited Liability Partnership.”
It said the suit was related to the FSB’s complaint Telegram was not complying with its legal obligations as an “organiser of information distribution.”
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.”
Telegram is also in the midst of the world’s biggest initial coin offering, and so far raised $1.7 billion in pre-sales.
Last month the app hit 200 million monthly active users, a milestone it described as “an insane number by any standards”.