The Russian government retaliated against the company that operates the Telegram messaging app by filing a lawsuit that would stop or limit access to the app in that country after the company refused a request by the government to turn over its encryption keys to the FSB.
Telegram, one of the world’s most popular messaging apps with about 200 million monthly users, allows for encrypted communication between end users that cannot be deciphered by a third party, including governments. According to Reuters, the FSB, Russia’s federal security service, requested the keys so it could obtain information for help with ongoing investigations and its work against terrorist activity.
Telegram refused the demand. The company traditionally does not comply with any government’s request for information on its users, unlike many other firms that routinely do so, and reports what information was released through a transparency report.
Telegram’s founder and CEO is Russian citizen Pavel Durov who said in a March tweet that any effort to force the company to turn over information will not succeed.
Threats to block Telegram unless it gives up private data of its users won’t bear fruit. Telegram will stand for freedom and privacy.
— Pavel Durov (@durov) March 20, 2018
Despite its Russian roots, Telegram is listed as an LLC in the U.S. and UK, but does not list any addresses for its offices.