Wednesday 17 April 2024 - 09:30

US Government Sought Telegram Backdoor for Surveillance: Founder

Story Code : 1129251
US Government Sought Telegram Backdoor for Surveillance: Founder
One of the reasons Durov decided against establishing the company in San Francisco was the attention from the FBI, he disclosed.

Originally from St. Petersburg, Durov, along with his mathematician brother Nikolay, initially founded VK, Russia's counterpart to Facebook. Later, they developed Telegram, a messaging service and social media platform known for its high security standards.

Having sold his stake in VK and departed Russia in 2014 due to conflicts with the government, Durov explored various countries before settling in Dubai to oversee Telegram's operations.

In a recent interview, Durov recounted visiting the US multiple times, including meetings with former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, all while being closely monitored by the FBI, making his stays in America uncomfortable.

"We got too much attention from the FBI, the security agencies, wherever we came," Durov stated, describing the experience as "alarming."

Durov revealed that one of his top employees had been approached by the US government without his knowledge, with attempts to integrate certain open-source tools into Telegram's code, potentially serving as backdoors.

Reflecting on his own encounters, Durov mentioned being personally approached by law enforcement officials during his visits to the US, even experiencing FBI agents waiting for him at airports and visiting his rented accommodations.

"They wanted to establish a relationship to control Telegram better," Durov said, acknowledging the FBI's efforts. "For us, running a privacy-focused social media platform, that probably wasn't the best environment to be in."

While acknowledging Telegram's use by protest organizers worldwide, Durov emphasized his desire for the platform to remain politically neutral.