Eastern Europe News

Telegram Is No Longer Safe It Seems

The word buzzing around the Telegram community is that the encrypted app is no longer safe, now that the company has advised its users that it will provide information to governments.

The Russian-language news outlet Meduza reported on the concern circulating throughout users in the Russian Federation and the diaspora abroad.

Russian Online Watchdog Shuts Down Much Of Country In Attempt To Ban Telegram Messaging App

The instant messenger Telegram has rewritten its privacy policy, and Russians are raising their eyebrows at Section 8.3, where the network now says it may disclose users’ IP addresses and phone numbers “to the relevant authorities,” if it “receives a court order [confirming] that you’re a terror suspect.” Telegram says it’s yet to surrender any information on these grounds, but it will record future cases in a “semiannual transparency report.”

Pavel Chikov, the head of the “Agora” human rights group, which is defending Telegram in Russia’s courts, told the website Durov’s Code that he believes it’s too early to speculate about the consequences of the company’s new policy. “As Telegram’s representatives, we’ve never denied the authorities’ right or even their obligation to fight terrorism. On the contrary, we’ve adamantly suggested a civilized approach: a court order in exchange for handing over user data — and not correspondence, but just IP addresses and telephone numbers,” Chikov said.

Russian state news agency TASS wrote about Telegram’s alleged continued refusal to work with Russian intelligence agencies after the Kremlin’s ban of the encrypted text application.

“We do not consider any requests from Russian intelligence agencies and our privacy policy has nothing to do with the situation in Russia,” he wrote on Telegram. According to Durov, Russian intelligence services seek access to all users’ messages and not the data that Telegram is ready to provide in accordance with court rulings.

Watch Pussy Riot Member Get Arrested For Throwing Paper Airplanes In Protest Of Russia Blocking Telegram Message Service

In any event, any voluntary turning over of user data to governments around the world, who could easily call someone a ‘terrorist’ to acquire data on the individual, is disturbing and will curb use of Telegram.

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