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Why Telegram is less secure than Facebook Messenger? Signal’s founder answers

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Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Signal, a messaging medium known for preserving its users’ privacy, expressed surprise on Twitter that many media outlets continue to refer to Telegram as an “encrypted messenger”.

While Telegram has many appealing features, “but in terms of privacy and data collection, there is no worse choice,” says Marlinspike.

The rivalry between these apps is both hidden and long-standing. More specifically, since the beginning of this year, when WhatsApp proposed modifications to its terms of service (which it eventually implemented in May), users have been migrating in droves to two messaging applications regarded to be more secure: Telegram and Signal.

With this backdrop, it’s clear that neither company will sing praises for the other, as they are competitors in a market that will continue to grow as users become more concerned about the privacy of their data, but we’ll have to wait and see what arguments Marlinspike offers to support his claims against Telegram.

Signal’s leader’s arguments against his opponent

Telegram, according to Marlinspike, always stores all contacts, groups, media, and each message sent by a user in plaintext on its servers. As a result, the Telegram smartphone app is merely a “window” onto the servers that really hold the data. As a result, Telegram operators can view all that the user sees.

To better comprehend it, the CEO recommends that you erase Telegram and then reinstall it on a new phone with your phone number. You’ll see your whole chat history, all of your contacts, all of the stuff you’ve shared, and all of your groups right away. How? It was all stored in clear text on their servers. When you execute this process with WhatsApp, if you have a backup saved, the same thing happens.

The confusion, he claims, stems from the fact that Telegram allows users to create “secret chats” that ostensibly employ end-to-end encryption, although the security of the e2ee protocol they use is dubious, according to the Signal founder.

On top of this, Marlinspike compared another communication program to see if it was any better. 

“FB Messenger also has an e2ee “secret chat” mode that is actually much less limited than Telegram’s (and also uses a better e2ee protocol), but nobody would consider Messenger” to be secure, according to the founder.

“FB Messenger and Telegram are built almost exactly the same way.”

The founder of Signal says that the main problem he encounters when talking about privacy lies in the misunderstanding of what a private service is. 

“Actual privacy tech is not about trusting someone else w/ your data,” but rather that those third parties do not have our data.

“A msg you send should only be visible to you & recipient. A group’s details should only be vis to the other members. Looking up your contacts should not reveal them to anyone else.”

Leaked FBI report

A document was leaked at the beginning of December that detailed all of the data that the FBI may collect from us via WhatsApp, Telegram, and other platforms.

Signal simply offers data such as the date and time the user registers and connects because it does not save any additional information, it was discovered. Telegram, for its part, can divulge a user’s IP and phone number if he/she is being investigated for terrorism offences, as it already states in its privacy policy (something that, according to the same document, until now, this has never happened).

Although the whole text of the messages is never sent to the agents in the case of WhatsApp, the owner firm (Facebook / Meta) does disclose virtually real-time data on the user and their actions, as well as on your contacts and communication log, through metadata.

The conflict between messaging applications in which he starred in 2021 has begun a new chapter that speaks to a more exciting story to tell in 2022.

Image Credit: Getty

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