You’ve probably heard of the popular messaging app Telegram, but there’s a chance you don’t know that it might soon be banned in Germany and Brazil. This blog post will explore why governments are clamping down on this app and its meaning for users.
You may have heard that the popular encrypted messaging app, Telegram, has been banned in Russia. But while the Russian government is trying to make it impossible for citizens to use encrypted messaging apps, Germany is taking a different approach and banning the messenger altogether.
Telegram is a messaging application similar to WhatsApp. It is available on multiple platforms and can be used by individuals or groups of up to 200 people. The critical difference between Telegram and other messaging services is that it has end-to-end encryption, meaning that messages are unreadable to anyone but the person who sends them and who receives them.
Telegram was launched in 2013 by the founder, Pavel Durov. The service uses cloud-based technology to allow the user to send messages and files of any size without incurring data transfer charges. The app can also be used on an insecure internet connection, making Telegram especially relevant for users in countries with censorship.
Why do they say it should be banned?
The encrypted messaging app is not only used by users who are concerned about their privacy but also by extremist groups and criminals. Germany and Brazil would be the first to act.
Telegram, which uses end-to-end encryption, honors its promises to its users and does not give out any data about them or their conversations. While other messaging platforms cooperate closely with the authorities, Telegram’s cooperation is not always smooth. German police have called for a complete shutdown of the service in the country because of the distribution of illegal content. Still, they have finally been satisfied by blocking a total of 64 channels, most extremist, virus-denying, and conspiracy-theory-spreading.
After the incident, the German authorities and Telegram representatives went to the negotiating table. Still, the Germans said they were willing to block the entire service in the country if necessary. However, Telegram is also popular among people who do not want the content of their messages to be used by internet giants to target advertising and among opposition activists who are being monitored by the state in their own undemocratic country.
What is end-to-end encryption?
Texting is a much more convenient way for people to communicate than phone calls and emails, but security can constantly be improved. Text messages are easy to intercept, and the sender can only read conversations on apps like Snapchat.
End-to-end encryption protects your messages from getting intercepted by unauthorized people, encrypted so that only you can read them. It’s easy to use and creates a secure connection between the sender and receiver.
Last month, the German cabinet discussed the launch of a law that would stop using the encrypted messaging app, Telegram. The proposed law will ban the use of social media networks like Telegram and Facebook if they do not give authorities access to their messages. Germany is just one of the many countries where Telegram is popular; it will likely spread to more countries shortly.