Appeal against fine for failure to ofer encryption information lost by Telegram

Appeal against fine for failure to ofer encryption information lost by Telegram

13 November in Russia

DataGuidance confirmed, on 13 November 2018, with Sergey Medvedev and Ilya Goryachev, Senior Lawyers at Gorodissky & Partners, that Moscow City Court (‘the Court’) had issued its decision, on 22 October 2018, rejecting Telegram Messenger LLP’s appeal against the decision of Meshchansky District Court of Moscow to uphold a fine of RUB 800,000 (approx. €10,500) for the failure to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service (‘FSB’).

Medvedev and Goryachev outlined, “According to the appeal, Telegram cited various arguments, including lack of jurisdiction as well as technical impossibility to fulfil the decoding request filed by the FSB to decode messages of the persons suspected of terror activity. The appeal court noted that fulfilling such a request is a legitimate obligation and that no evidence of impossibility to fulfil was provided.”

Medvedev and Goryachev also highlighted, “It may be noted that the maximum fine of the enforced Article 13.31(2.1) of the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences of 30 December 2001 No. 195-FZ is RUB 1,000,000 (approx. €13,000), thus the fine imposed on Telegram is RUB 200,000 (approx. €2,600) less than the maximum fine. [In addition,] the Court dismissed other arguments, including lack of jurisdiction and noted that while Telegram is a non-Russian legal entity, the request by the FSB needed to be fulfilled in Russia, thus jurisdiction of a Russian court for administrative liability was established.”

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