Supreme Court Judge Alla Nazarova today rejected an appeal filed by Telegram, objecting to Russia's Federal Security Services (FSB) obtaining the encryption keys to its platform. As a result, Telegram will be legally obligated to grant security forces access to the private messages and other data of its users, unless it can convince an appellate court to reverse the decision. Shortly after the ruling was made public, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov had this to say:
The company finds itself in a difficult position. With the pre-sale for its own cryptocurrency underway, Telegram is seen as a flagbearer for a movement that prides itself on respecting user privacy, deploying encryption, and thwarting attempts at government interference. But as a Russian enterprise, Telegram is bound by the draconian laws that give the country's security forces extensive surveillance powers.