Swiss messenger app fined under Russian anti-terror law

Threema, a competitor of the Russian messenger service Telegram and the American app WhatsApp, has refused to share user data with Russian authorities. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

A Moscow court has fined the messenger service Threema €14,200 (CHF14,363) for refusing to share user data with Russian authorities under a domestic anti-terror law.

This content was published on June 25, 2022 - 12:30

"The Russian authority Roskomnadzor apparently launched an investigation in March 2022, probably to make an example," a Threema spokesperson told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. The spokesperson confirmed this information to the Keystone-SDA news agency on Saturday.

Threema was found guilty of disregarding regulations under Russia's anti-terror law, he added. According to this law, telecommunication companies must store data such as phone calls, text messages, emails, videos and photos on their servers for up to half a year and, if requested, pass them on to the domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB).

"Of course, under no circumstances will we hand over any data to Russian authorities," Threema boss Martin Blatter is quoted as saying in Welt am Sonntag. The spokesperson argued the company is bound to follow Swiss law, which does not allow the transfer of personal data to third countries – and certainly not to belligerent ones, he added.

Blatter said his company had no intention of paying the fine.

Threema is a competitor of the messenger service Telegram and the American app WhatsApp.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.