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Telegram Founder Reveals US Government’s Alleged Covert Maneuvers to Backdoor The App

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Here’s a headline that surfaced on the internet this week: “US government tried to spy on people…” (…somebody, who happens to be the Telegram founder, “claims”.)

What a shocker. Is this really newsworthy? Actually yes – because here, we’re seeing the opposite of clickbait – a subdued, to put it generously, headline in legacy US media, in an attempt to report about some of the things Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said during his interview with Tucker Carlson.

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But behind this headline lies a pretty explosive, even if not surprising story – of how countries (in reality, more likely than one, but in this case, one is named) view the backbone of internet safety and integrity, namely – reliable, secure encryption.

Long story short – they view it as the enemy.

Durov, a Russian now in possession of multiple passports, based in Dubai, UAE, and often apparently butting heads with snooping efforts from governments (including Russian) revealed during the interview how the government in Washington one time tried to “break into Telegram,” as he put it.

But really, doing this successfully, given the nature of the encrypted app, would have meant not just breaking “into” – but, breaking Telegram.

Durov spoke specifically about the spy agency activities when, according to him, they tried to recruit an engineer working for his company as obviously well-positioned to write encryption backdoor code (malware by any other name) the purpose of which would be to – well, break Telegram.

The last time he was in the US, Durov told Carlson, he was accompanied by a Telegram employee, “an engineer (…) and there was an attempt to secretly hire my engineer behind my back by cyber security officers or agents.”

What might the US agencies’ goals have been, Durov was asked.

“They were curious to learn which open-source libraries are integrated to the Telegram app. You know, on the client side.”

This, by the way, is a very important “little note” made by Durov – considering that Telegram’s client-side code is open-source – but the server-side is not (and as we know, nobody knows, or is accountable to the general public to disclose, what goes on regarding proprietary code).

But he went on:

“They (US authorities) were trying to persuade him (the engineer) to use certain open-source tools that he would then integrate into the Telegram code that, in my understanding, would serve as backdoors.”

As for both Democrat and Republican “letters” (contradicting in demands – to reveal, and to keep data private) sent to the company in the wake of January 6, citing “US Constitution violations,” Durov said Telegram “ignored them” because – “it’s such a complicated matter related to internal politics in the US.”

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