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UN finds human rights violations in situation around Telegram

RUSSIA (OBSERVATORY) –┬áThe trial that preceded the blocking of Telegram in Russia did not fully meet international standards in the field of human rights, Sputnik told the spokesman of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Some international human rights rules were not respected during the trial that resulted in the blocking of Telegram messaging in Russia, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told Sputnik ‘Man (OHCHR), Rupert Colville.

“In the case of six people [the suspects of the attack in April 2017 in Saint Petersburg, ed], it seems that the necessary legal guarantees, including a court order, on the basis of which a request for keys of Encryption could be done, were not present. International standards in the field of human rights require legal guarantees and supervision, “he explained.

In this context, he recalled the statement of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, David Kay, who had recently indicated that encryption data could be presented by court order only in the presence of a prescription of a court for each concrete situation.

“Blocking Telegram messaging for everyone in Russia because of the proceedings against six people is obviously an exceptionally disproportionate response [from the Russian authorities, ed],” said Colville.

The spokesman at the same time recalled the similar situation with the FBI’s request for decryption keys from Apple smartphones in connection with the 2015 shootings in San Bernardino , United States. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, then strongly criticized Washington and said that the results of FBI operations could have an adverse impact on human rights through the world.

“The discussion around encryption focuses excessively on one side of a coin, on security, including its potential to be used for criminal purposes. The other side of this coin is that weakening the protection of decryption can create a significant threat to national and international security, “concluded Rupert Colville.

A Moscow court on April 13 ordered the blocking of Telegram mail in Russia. On 20 March, the Federal Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media Supervision Service (Roskomnadzor) sent a notification to Telegram informing it that it is violating the Information Act because of its refusal to provide the FSB with the necessary data to decipher the correspondence of the suspects of the April 2017 attack in St. Petersburg. In addition, the Supreme Court of Russia has recognized the legitimacy of the FSB’s demands.