September 27, 2017
When I saw the lawsuit headline, I figured they were being sued for bad security – which would be bad.
But in fact they’re being sued for good security.
Which implies it’s a good app. It doesn’t necessarily mean that – it just implies it.
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov is facing criminal charges in Iran due to the encrypted messaging application’s popularity with terrorists, child pornographers and other criminal elements, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi has said.
Telegram is “providing services to terrorist groups such as IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL), creating a suitable platform for the activities of other groups and promoting and facilitating the perpetration of child pornography, human trafficking and narcotics trafficking,” Dolatabadi said as cited by BBC Persian.
The prosecutor didn’t specify the charges against the Russian entrepreneur, only saying that the case has been referred to the international affairs division of Tehran Prosecutor’s Office. According to Dolatabadi, “Western law” didn’t apply to the Iranian case against Telegram.
Durov can only be tried by Iran in absentia as he lives outside of the Islamic Republic and is unlikely to come to Iran for the trial. The entrepreneur holds passports of Russia as well as Saint Kitts and Nevis, with his place of residence unknown to the public.
Does he even exist?
Durov was addressed on the Iranian charges on Twitter. He replied that he was “surprised” to hear the news.
I am surprised to hear that. We are actively blocking terrorist and pornographic content in Iran. I think the real reasons are different.
— Pavel Durov (@durov) September 26, 2017
“We are actively blocking terrorist and pornographic content in Iran,” he wrote.
According to the entrepreneur, Telegram’s moderators have been blocking around 1,000 channels, chats and bots with terrorist or pornographic content in Iran on a daily basis.
“I think the real reasons are different,” Durov suggested, allegedly referring to the row between the Iranian authorities and Telegram.
The encrypted app allows millions of users in Iran to bypass the country’s ban on social media.
Telegram also has a feature, which lets users to set their messages to “self-destruct” after they were read by the addressee.
The app has been previously blamed for being used by the terrorists and other criminals for communication purposes.
Indonesia blocked the web versions of Telegram in July, arguing that “many channels in the service are propaganda of radicalism, terrorism, hatred, invitation or how to assemble bombs, how to attack.”
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) also said Telegram was used by the terrorists behind the St Petersburg metro suicide attack which killed in 15 people in April.
Obviously, terrorism is bad, but an app that can be used successfully by terrorists to communicate is probably good.
Encryption of chat rooms is always going to be more complicated and way less secure than encryption of one-to-one communication.
But I think Telegram is a good option for people to use. I recommend Book Club guys use this. Though I have recommended Discord before, due to it’s functionality, it is basically as bad as Skype as far as security, and following Charlottesville, it looks like they might have been monitoring people’s private communications.
You can use it for bullshitting and shitposting, but for anything more serious, you should use an encrypted app.
Signal is best, but only allows 1-on-1 communication.
I think Signal even signaled us in an ad – look at the middle there.
The problem with Telegram is that as of right now, it requires a phone number to register to use it. But once you’ve registered the number, you are good – so you can buy a disposable SIM card and then trash it.
It has a desktop version which is very good. I’ve started using it since Laura Loomer got us all banned from Discord.