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.
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.
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.