The privacy issues raised recently by various users brought to the spotlight the level of integrity and validity of each messaging and socializing app out there. Numerous apps are doing their best to maintain the user’s high privacy level, whilst other apps are facing accusations of illegally tracking down the secret messages of its users as well as their phone logs.
However, over the last few days, Telegram received a request from the Russian authorities to grant their security department an access to the users’ encrypted messages. Yet, Telegram refused to commit such a violation of the users privacy, and, as a result, caused the Russian authorities to wrath and take strict measures in order to ban the messaging app as soon as possible.
The Russian authorities stated that their request to access encrypted messages is driven by ensuring safety and protect citizens from possible terrorist attacks. They added that many terrorist attacks are carried out via messaging apps; the authorities added that St. Petersburg metro bombing, last year, was planned and carried out using Telegram. Similar attacks shed light on the fact that messaging apps, unintentionally, may facilitate such hideous actions, and that serious measures need to be considered to protect civilians from possible terrorist plans, yet without puncturing Telegram users privacy.
The demand to divulge users secret messages on Telegram, nevertheless, seems to be a sort of an impossible mission. The fact that Telegram uses an end-to-end encryption feature, that binds messages only to two parties – the sender and the receiver – reveals that it is nearly impossible to have a backdoor to Telegram encrypted messages. Yet, the trustworthy encryption of the Telegram messages made it an appealing and acceptable communications app to the Russian government and authorities.
So, the encrypted messages feature on Telegram seems to be a double-edged sword; on the one hand, Telegram is a very trusted app for its high level privacy and protection of discreet information; but on the other hand, the encrypted messages may be a drawback if put in the wrong hands. Although it is quite vague how Russia is going to ban the Telegram, it is undeniable that the encrypted messaging app has popularity and is trusty amongst innumerable users in the country.
Yet if the Russian decision is carried out successfully, the country is planning to encourage former Telegram users to switch apps to the Russian equivalent ICQ messenger.