English Durov's Channel@durov
Durov's Channel This is where I post thoughts about Telegram in a slightly less formal and more direct way than in the official Telegram blog (~70% of which is also written mostly by yours truly). Subscribe only if you're a hardcore Telegram fan.
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Publications Last 10 publications
July 30, 2017 12:25
On Rumors About Telegram Servers in Weird Places There are some reports that the Iranian Minister of Communication Mahmoud Vaezi said that "Telegram moved some of its servers to Iran". Since there are no Telegram servers in Iran, this is probably another piece of fake news or incorrect translation. But if the Iranian Minister did say something like this, he probably referred to one of the CDN caching nodes that Telegram rents from a global CDN-provider to cache publicly available data locally in many places of the world where we don't wan't…
Since some journalists don’t read my Telegram channel (a shame!), I made a Telegraph story about rumors on Telegram moving servers to weird places. It repeats some of the stuff from the last two posts from here, but could be useful as a summary of all our CDN-related posts. Spread the word!

July 23, 2017 01:15
There’s a weird rumor being spread in Iran about Telegram moving servers there. The idea of a privacy-oriented messaging app like Telegram moving its servers to a country with a history of Internet censorship is absurd and is hardly worth commenting on. However, it’s interesting to try to understand why such rumors appear in the first place. I can think of two reasons for that.

1. First, countries such as Iran or Russia usually try to pass laws ordering Internet companies to store private data on their territory. Sometimes officials in those countries make loud claims that turn out to be false (“Apple agreed to host private data of their users in our country”). It’s pretty obvious that Telegram can’t comply with any such demands due to our strict Privacy Policy. We won’t be able to put the privacy of our users at risk, even if rejecting such demands means getting blocked in some countries. We’d rather lose a big market (like we did in China) than compromise a single byte of private data of our users.

2. Second, some politicians and journalists discussing “servers” of a company in a country are confused about the terms and what they actually mean by “servers”. Along with a company’s servers that store private data in safe places, there also are internet providers that deliver its encrypted traffic to users, and third party caching nodes (CDNs) that make sure popular public content doesn’t go twice around the globe every time to reach its users. If Telegram servers store data, these third parties merely provide connectivity between Telegram servers and its users.

It seems that politicians / journalists sometimes refer to an internet traffic provider or a CDN provider that delivers or caches encrypted data of Telegram as “Telegram” or “Telegram servers“, thus misleading the public. There’s a world of difference between them: Telegram servers store private data and will never “travel” to countries with internet censorship, while internet providers and CDNs operate all over the world and have no access to private data of Telegram (and other secure apps).

All popular apps have to work with ISPs and CDNs in order to make sure users can get their traffic in a fast and reliable way, but unlike some of them, we at Telegram are always 100% transparent about how we encrypt and store data. That's why I will soon share more details about how exactly Telegram plans to work with third parties such as CDN providers to guarantee speed and security for our users all around the globe.

However, while we keep researching ways to improve connectivity and speed for our users globally, there’s one thing we will never do: we will never change the location of our servers or change our Privacy Policy due to restricting laws or threats from local officials. The only party Telegram can be held responsible to is our users, and only our users can dictate us their wishes and demands.
July 16, 2017 01:04
Some thoughts on Indonesia

A lot of Telegram's early adopters come from Indonesia, and now we have several million users in that beautiful country. I am personally a big fan of Indonesia – I’ve been there a few times and have many friends there.

So it made me upset to hear that the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and IT suggested they would have to block Telegram in Indonesia. It turns out that the officials of the Ministry recently emailed us a list of public channels with terrorism-related content on Telegram, and our team was unable to quickly process them.

Unfortunately, I was unaware of these requests, which caused this miscommunication with the Ministry. To fix the current situation, we're implementing the following 3-step solution:

1) We have blocked all the terrorist-related public channels that have been previously reported to us by the Ministry of Communication and IT of Indonesia.
2) I emailed back to the Ministry to establish a direct channel of communication, which should allow us to work more efficiently on identifying and blocking terrorist propaganda in the future.
3) We are forming a dedicated team of moderators with knowledge of Indonesian language and culture to be able to process reports of terrorist-related content more quickly and accurately.

Telegram is heavily encrypted and privacy-oriented, but we’re no friends of terrorists – in fact, every month we block thousands of ISIS-related public channels and publish the result of this work in @isiswatch. We’re constantly striving to be more efficient at preventing terrorist propaganda, and are always open to ideas on how to get better at this.

I emailed the Ministry my suggestions above to hear their feedback. I am confident we can efficiently eradicate terrorist propaganda without disrupting the legitimate use of Telegram by millions of Indonesians. I will keep you updated in this channel on how Telegram will develop in Indonesia – and globally.
April 18, 2017 19:13
Telegram Calls in Iran Last Thursday, we finished rolling out free End-to-End Encrypted Voice Calls to all Telegram users around the world. On April 16, Iranian providers – both mobile operators and home internet providers – started blocking Telegram calls. According to the news agencies, 20 providers received a judicial order from the Attorney General to do this. On Telegram's side, calls are enabled and working for the entire world, including Iran. But internet providers in the country are blocking the protocol that is used…
As you may have heard, we have recently launched encrypted voice calls for Telegram. They are super-easy to use and improve themselves over time using machine learning.

Personally, I rarely make voice calls. When I lived in Russia, I developed the habit of NEVER speaking over the phone, as every conversation was being recorded by corrupt law enforcement agencies. This habit stayed with me even after I left Russia a few years ago. I don't expect agencies in other countries to have more respect for privacy than their Russian counterparts. In my opinion, they're the same everywhere, some are just better at marketing.

My phone habits may change now that I use secure calls via Telegram to communicate with my team and family members. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world will be able to enjoy the same.

In countries like Saudi Arabia, Telegram traffic is throttled in order to discourage usage. In others, like China and Oman, it's blocked completely. In Iran, where Telegram has some 40 million active users, Telegram voice calls have been completely blocked by the country's internet providers and mobile operators following an order from the judiciary (more about this here – http://telegra.ph/Telegram-Calls-in-Iran-NEWS).

Telegram has historically had problems with regulators in some parts of the world because, unlike other services, we consistently defended of our users' privacy and have never made any deals with governments. In three and a half years of existence to date, Telegram disclosed exactly zero bytes of users' data to any third-party.

Services like WhatsApp, on the other hand, have no such problems in China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or other countries with a history of censorship. This is the case because WhatsApp (and its parent company Facebook) are eager to trade user trust for an increased market share. The claim that “WhatsApp and third parties can’t read or listen to your WhatsApp messages and calls” – is completely false. WhatsApp actually can read and listen in to your calls and messages, as they are able to invisibly change the encryption keys for 99.99% of their users (more about this backdoor-disguised-as-a-feature here – http://telegra.ph/whatsapp-backdoor-01-16). So much for "End-to-End Encryption".

Moreover, third parties like Google or Apple have direct access to most of WhatsApp's users' chat history. This is because WhatsApp tricked the majority of users into allowing third party backups. And the sharing doesn't stop with just these third parties. Apple and Google in turn have to deal with data requests from all the countries they have business in, and so the data flows.

By claiming that they are secure, our competitors may be involved in the single largest case of consumer fraud in human history.

By comparison, Telegram relies on end-to-end encryption assisted by a built-in encrypted and distributed cloud for messages and media. The relevant decryption keys are split into parts and are spread across different jurisdictions. This structure makes your cloud data a hundred times more protected and secure than when it is stored by Google, Facebook, or Apple.

No wonder governments and regulators are unhappy with Telegram. Well, let them block us as much as they want. We won't change our principles or betray our users. I know it’s not great to have Telegram (or parts of it) restricted in your country. But sometimes it’s better to stop using a communication service entirely than to keep using it with misplaced trust in its security.

It's why I avoided voice calls for years, in Russia and beyond. It's also why I'm coming back to them now, on Telegram.
April 1, 2017 10:16
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Happy April Fools' Day! 🤡 Check out the trending stickers tab, featuring Mr. Trump, Marilyn Monroe and (more importantly) Lazy Panda 🐼
March 21, 2017 18:45
Unlike in WhatsApp, nobody could take over your Telegram account by simply sending you a photo A company called Check Point has discovered a way of taking over a WhatsApp account provided that your target simply opened a photo you sent them. No additional actions from the target were required. Some media reported that "the same" vulnerability was discovered in Telegram. This is not true, Telegram never had this issue.
Happy Equinox / Nowruz (which this year are just 1 day apart)!

This is one of the days of the year that I think are worth celebrating. Among other things, it has an objective astronomical value – days are now officially longer than nights. On such occasions, I make wishes.

One of the wishes I’m making today is that the quality of the media increases. Unfortunately, almost every time I read an article about technology or messaging, some part of it turns out to be inaccurate or plainly false. For example, last week many news outlets came out with articles saying that WhatsApp and Telegram had a major security flaw. In fact, it was only WhatsApp that had a serious problem, while Telegram had a minor issue that was nowhere near.

Even after we made an official statement (http://telegra.ph/Checkpoint-Confusion-NEWS) very few media corrected their catchy (but false) headlines. This is just one of many instances that witnessed the degradation of the media this year. Every day they sacrifice truth in order to sell more ads.

Let us hope the situation changes, but let us also try to make reporters accountable every time they act unprofessionally and neglect fact checking.
November 9, 2016 16:34
Boing Boing
A madman has been given the keys to the surveillance state When the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001, it erased many of the vital checks and balances that stood between the American people and their government. As Bush supporters che…
Trusting a US-based company for secure communication was naive before today. But starting today, it is pure madness.

October 9, 2016 18:55
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October 9, 2016 18:55
This publication contains an image.
October 9, 2016 18:53
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This October we are working on new features for @telegram from a castle in Umbria, Italy.
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