Maxim Ali has commented on the unblocking of Telegram

Maksim Ali - Senior Associate

On 18 June, Roskomnadzor, in agreement with the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, lifted the restrictions on accessing the Telegram messenger app.

The Head of the IP/IT Practice at Maxima Legal, Maxim Ali explained that Roskomnadzor had simply ignored the court’s decision on a plausible pretext. “Telegram was blocked until it fulfilled its obligation to transfer encryption keys. Whilst this obligation has not yet been fulfilled, Roskomnadzor was satisfied with ‘the readiness expressed by the founder of Telegram to counteract terrorism and extremism’” Maxim stated to Advokatskaya Gazeta.

Maxim drew attention to the vagueness of how the “coordination” with the Prosecutor General’s Office allows us to ignore the principle of binding court orders. “The Telegram case clearly shows how the state drove itself into an impasse. First, a law was passed on the mandatory provision of message encryption keys (which is technically impossible if the messenger conscientiously uses terminal encryption technology). Telegram was fined for not providing encryption keys, and most likely, this penalty will not be cancelled. Then the court blocked the messenger until this obligation was fulfilled. Neither the law nor the court decision has lost their legal force, but Roskomnadzor and the Prosecutor General’s Office simply removed the restrictions. It turns out that it is not so important for state bodies what the court says, therefore the whole situation around Telegram looks anti-law and demonstrates the state’s attitude to justice,” Maxim emphasized.

To read the full article (in Russian), please see the Advokatskaya Gazeta website >>>