The Federal Service for Financial Markets has fined Internet portal and email provider Rambler over its refusal to provide the emails of one of its customers without a court order.
Rambler declined to provide the data of one of its users suspected of involvement in insider trading by the watchdog, Vedomosti reported, citing sources.
The court has ordered Rambler to pay a 500,000-ruble ($16,000) fine.
The company said the watchdog did not provide a court order to disclose the private email exchange. Alexander Rylik, the head of the security division at Rambler-Afisha media group, told Vedomosti that it would dispute the fine in court.
Rylik said the procedure requiring a court order was followed by all law enforcement agencies and the financial watchdog should follow the same rules.
The Mail.ru mail service has also received a similar request from the watchdog, two sources at the company said. One of the sources said Mail.ru had provided all of the requested information.
Federal Service for Financial Markets spokeswoman Sveltana Shvetsova said her office acted within the bounds of the law.
Legal expert Sergei Kopilov said that in this case it could be difficult to identify the email exchange as private, since many e-mail accounts were created anonymously and therefore not subject to privacy rules.