UPDATE: Telegram says handing decoding keys technically impossible
(Changes headline, lede, adds paragraphs 2–5)
MOSCOW, Apr 2 (PRIME) – Telegram has told the Russian communications service that it is technically impossible to provide the Federal Security Service with keys to decode users’ messages, company lawyer Dmitry Dinze on Monday.
“The administrator of the messenger under no circumstances has access to the information that allows him to decode received, sent, delivered or processed electronic messages it handles in the existing architecture,” the lawyer said in an official response to the communications service’s warning.
Telegram gives users an option to use two types of channels to exchange messages, cloud and secret chats, Dinze said.
“The messages carried through secret chats are never stored on servers. Users’ correspondence of cloud chats is stored in an enciphered way, distributed between various sub-systems and is never kept in one place,” the lawyer told reporters.
Telegram’s sub-systems are located in different states and managed by different firms.
The ultimatum issued by the communications service to Telegram to give the Federal Security Service decoding keys expires early this week, and the authority can go to court to block Telegram in the country.
The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media sent the warning to Telegram on March 20 after the Supreme Court threw out a messenger’s lawsuit seeking to void the security service’s order for the provision of data to decode users’ messages.
Telegram has 15 days to obey.
The messenger’s founder Pavel Durov said earlier that Telegram will protect freedom and privacy of its users.