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Delta Chat Refuses Russian Government’s Surveillance Demands

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Delta Chat, a messaging application celebrated for its robust stance on privacy, has yet again rebuffed attempts by Russian authorities to access encryption keys and user data. This defiance is part of the app’s ongoing commitment to user privacy, which was articulated forcefully in a response from Holger Krekel, the CEO of the app’s developer.

On June 11, 2024, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media, known as Roskomnadzor, demanded that Delta Chat register as a messaging service within Russia and surrender access to user data and decryption keys. In response, Krekel conveyed that Delta Chat’s architecture inherently prevents the accumulation of user data—be it email addresses, messages, or decryption keys—because it allows users to independently select their email providers, thereby leaving no trail of communication within Delta Chat’s control.

The app, which operates on a decentralized platform utilizing existing email services, ensures that it stores no user data or encryption keys. Instead, it remains in the hands of the email provider and the users, safeguarded on their devices, making it technically unfeasible for Delta Chat to fulfill any government’s data requests.

Highlighting the ongoing global governmental challenges against end-to-end encryption, a practice vital to safeguarding digital privacy, Delta Chat outlined its inability to comply with such demands on its Mastodon account.

They noted that this pressure is not unique to Russia, but is part of a broader international effort by various governments, including those in the EU, the US, and the UK, to weaken the pillars of digital security.

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