A month after the court ruling on blocking Telegram messenger in Russia, the Moscow Municipal Court states that this decision has not yet entered into force. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roscomnadzor) which has been playing a destructive “hack-a-mole”game with Pavel Durov’s messenger, will now have to justify its actions.
The decision on blocking Telegram issued by the Tagansky District Court in mid-April, has not yet entered into force because the lawyers of the messenger managed to file a complaint against it, as reported by the head of the Moscow Municipal Court’s press office Ulyana Solopova.
“There is a complaint. The deficiencies must be addressed. The decision has not yet entered into force. The note that automatically appeared on the website will be deleted,” – the official commented.
On May 11, Ramil Ahmetgaliev, the lawyer who has been representing Telegram in court, filed an appeal claiming that the application to block was filed by an unauthorized person, the court violated the procedural order of the application and allowed gross violations of the adversarial principle and the company’s right to protection and did not substantiate the need and the proportionality of restrictions imposed on the company.
In addition, the defense claims that the situation led to the blocking of millions of IP addresses, which “had a disastrous effect on a wide range of Internet services that have nothing to do with Telegram.”
Meanwhile, the statement about the court ruling on blocking Telegram being not yet enforceable brings up a lot of questions and much confusion concerning the legitimacy of Roscomnadzor’s actions. Many unrelated online businesses and internet services were banned or suffered losses due to the draconian and illegitimate measures taken by the state agency. As for the messenger itself, it remains operable and keeps on raising funds for its further development.
Roscomnadzor explained in response to numerous requests by the general public that despite the fact that the court ruling has not yet entered into force, its resume part presupposes immediate enforcement.
It seems like the things with blocking Telegram got out of control. The authorities might have anticipated a more peaceful scenario without any court hearings. But as of now, the Roscomnadzor’s actions could be interpreted as an abuse of official powers which is a punishable act under the Criminal Code.