Telegram’s Russian Founder Answers Privacy Concerns Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict

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Telegram’s Russian Founder Answers Privacy Concerns Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict
Telegram’s Russian Founder Answers Privacy Concerns Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Telegram, the contentious chat service, has made the news again again. Many have been left wondering about the underlying objective behind CEO Pavel Durov’s remark addressing the app’s privacy and security, which he addressed in a few lines.

The Russian CEO tweeted a reminder to his history of keeping user data safe from the Russian authorities on his public Telegram channel. Durov recalled his ties to Ukraine and Russia, saying:

If you’ve read any of my previous writings, you’ll know that I trace my maternal line back to Kyiv. Her maiden name (Ivanenko) is Ukrainian, and we still have many relatives there. As a result, both me and Telegram have a personal stake in this awful battle. Because I lived in Russia for a while, some people asked if Telegram was less secure for Ukrainians.

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Pavel and Nikolai Durov, brothers who previously built VKontakte, the Russian version of Facebook, co-founded Telegram. Commented Pavel Durov:

I was the CEO of VK, Russia’s and Ukraine’s largest social network, nine years ago. In 2013, the Russian intelligence service, FSB, ordered that I hand over the personal information of Ukrainian VK users who were protesting against a pro-Russian president… I refused to comply with these demands because I believed it would be a betrayal of our Ukrainian users. After that, I was forced to leave Russia after being sacked from the company I started.

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During the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the messaging network became an important source of information. The Russian government has previously attempted to shut down Telegram but abandoned the plan in 2020.

Durov addressed the public’s concerns, asserting that he did not breach user data at the time and does not intend to do so now.

Durov came at the following conclusion:

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Since then, a lot of time has gone. Many things have changed: I no longer live in Russia, and I no longer own or manage any businesses or workers there. But one thing stays constant: I will always speak out for our users. Their right to privacy is extremely important to them. Now, more than ever, is the time to take action.

Telegram’s channel also stated:

Many members of Telegram’s multi-national crew are from Ukraine. We all want the fight to stop as soon as possible.

Experts are concerned that Telegram discussions are not encrypted end-to-end, making the network accessible to hackers. Users must believe that the platform will not divulge personal information to the authorities.

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