16 Oct 2017 15:43

Durov says may appeal court decision to fine Telegram for refusal to provide data to FSB for decoding

MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) - Pavel Durov, the owner of the Telegram messenger, has said he intends to appeal the decision of Moscow's Meshchansky District Court, which fined his company 800,000 rubles on Monday for refusing to provide the Federal Security Service (FSB) with information about decoding user messages.

"The Meshchansky Court's decision today can be appealed until the FSB's lawsuit is tried by a judge who is familiar with the foundational law of Russia, its Constitution," Durov wrote on his page on the VKontakte social network.

He wrote he will gather a team of lawyers who "have maximal experience in such cases." "We are asking lawyers who would like to work on that to contact us," Durov said.

The FSB's demands are technically impossible to fulfill, as they contradict Article 23 of the Russian Constitution, according to which every person has the right to privacy of correspondence, phone conversations, mail, telegraph, and other communications, he wrote.

"The Constitution is the foundational law of Russia, which has a direct effect and is higher than other, specifying laws. The desire of the FSB to get access to personal correspondence is an attempt to broaden its influence at the expense of the constitutional right of citizens," Durov said.

According to earlier reports, the magistrate court of the 383rd Judicial Area of Moscow's Meshchansky District has fined Telegram 800,000 rubles for refusing to fulfill the FSB's demand to provide information about decoding user messages.