Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike has stated that when it comes to privacy and data collection “there is no worse choice” than Telegram.
In a Twitter thread posted on Thursday, Marlinspike expressed astonishment that the messaging platform is still referred to as an encrypted messenger.
“Telegram has lots of compelling features, but when it comes to privacy and data collection, there is no worse choice,” he said.
How Telegram ‘actually works’
Marlinspike then proceeded to explain how Telegram “actually works” ;.
He said that the platform stores a users’ contacts, groups, media and every message they’ve ever sent or received in plaintext on the servers.
“The app on your own phone is just a ‘view’ onto their servers, where in actuality the data actually lives,” he explained.
“Almost anything you see in the app, Telegram also sees,” he added.
Marlinspike asked users to conduct a “simple test” to verify this theory. He said they need to delete Telegram, set it up on a fresh phone and register their number.
“You will immediately see all of your conversation history, all your contacts, all the media you’ve shared, all your groups. How? It was all on the servers, in plaintext,” he said.
Messages should only be visible to sender and recipient
Marlinspike noted that although some people may not contemplate it a large deal for the Telegram to have access to all of their data, messages, images, contacts, groups, etc., simply because they “trust Telegram”, but the purpose of encrypted messengers is that you have to trust no an added compared to the person you are communicating with.
“Actual privacy tech isn’t about trusting someone else together with your data. It’s about lacking to. A message you send should only be visible to you and its recipient. A group’s details should only be visible to another members. Looking up your contacts shouldn’t reveal them to someone else,” he said.
Will Cathcart retweets thread
Marlinspike’s views were seemingly endorsed by WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart who retweeted the thread.