So far, Telegram has not been ordered by a court to reveal the IP address and phone number of Telegram users who are suspects of terrorist activities. However, Telegram mentions that if the need arises, the company will comply with the judicial orders and will also publish the details of the whole incident in an official transparency report. The company claims that the new move won’t jeopardize with the security aspect of Telegram, however, it will make the ultra-secure messaging platform less safe for terrorists.
However, the updated privacy laws do not mean that Telegram has bowed down to the demands of the Russian government. As Durov mentioned later in his statement, Russia’s FSB (Federal Security Service) has asked Telegram to hand over the encryption keys so that the government body can access all messages and media shared on the platform.
The company has maintained that handing over the encryption keys would be equivalent to mass surveillance and will be strictly against Telegram’s code of privacy. Telegram is unwilling to accede to the demands of the Russian government and remains banned in the country, where the government has resorted to blocking IP addresses owned by Google, Amazon and others to sever the citizens’ access to Telegram.
Yeah, well, that’s a reason to use a secure messenger like Threema or Signal — not only if you’re a criminal but also if you value privacy.