Russia is expected to issue a ban citizens from messaging app Telegram after it refused to hand over encryption keys.
However, Alexander Zharov, chief executive of Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technologies and Mass Media, told Russian government-owned news agency Tass, that his organisation will await a court verdict before pressing ahead.
"Now, we have filed a lawsuit and we'll wait for the court's verdict. That's all for the moment... There should be a string of steps, and we act consistently. If you read law you will see that this is not our decision, we execute the decision of another body," Zharov told Tass.
On Friday, Roskomnadzor filed suit in a court in Moscow to stop people from using the service within its borders.
Russian authorities have been embroiled in a legal battle with Telegram for years over claims that criminals, including terrorists, use its encrypted communications app to coordinate their activities, believing it to be safe from government prying. However, Telegram holds the decryption keys, making it a weak link.
Telegram was founded by the Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai, who also founded Russian social media network VK. However, the company is registered in the UK and US, not Russia.
Russian intelligence service the FSB has repeatedly asked Telegram to provide it with access to its decryption keys so it can intercept messages sent through the app.
However, Telegram has continued to resist these orders, claiming that handing over these keys without a legitimate court order would violate the privacy rights of its users.
Last month, the firm lost its attempt to fight off the security agency's request. As a result, Telegram was ordered to pay a fine worth around $14,000.
Speaking to Reuters at the time, Telegram's lawyer said: "The FSB's argument that encryption keys can't be considered private information defended by the [Russian] constitution is cunning.
"It's like saying, ‘I've got a password from your email, but I don't control your email, I just have the possibility to control."
Despite losing the appeal, Telegram has also filed a case with European Court of Human Rights in an attempt to deflect the pressure being exerted by the Russian Government - not the first time that Russian government eavesdropping has been examined by the court.
To get the app banned in Russia, the government regulator must file a lawsuit against the company. If Roskomnadzor wins the case, it will be able to add Telegram to the nation's growing blocklist.
Neither the company nor its previously outspoken founder and CEO Pavel Durov have chosen to comment on the lawsuit. After founding the company and releasing the first iteration of its app in 2013, Durov sought to set-up the company in Berlin.
Today, his organisation is believed to be working out of Dubai. The company has recently been funded to the tune of $1.7 billion via its CoinTelegraph initial coin offering (ICO).
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