My friend asked me if I have Telegram (https://telegram.org) and I asked, “What's that? An app for sending dirty photos?”
And while that's true because of their end-to-end encryption and self destruct messaging features (although be wary of screenshots my dirty pic sending friends), the app also seems like a legit messaging service with an emphasis on privacy.
Here's what impressed me most about the Telegram app (from their FAQ page):
Q: Do you process data requests?
Secret chats use end-to-end encryption, thanks to which we don't have any data to disclose.
To protect the data that is not covered by end-to-end encryption, Telegram uses a distributed infrastructure. Cloud chat data is stored in multiple data centers around the globe that are controlled by different legal entities spread across different jurisdictions. The relevant decryption keys are split into parts and are never kept in the same place as the data they protect. As a result, several court orders from different jurisdictions are required to force us to give up any data.
Thanks to this structure, we can ensure that no single government or block of like-minded countries can intrude on people's privacy and freedom of expression. Telegram can be forced to give up data only if an issue is grave and universal enough to pass the scrutiny of several different legal systems around the world.
To this day, we have disclosed 0 bytes of user data to third parties, including governments.
You might think that since the default setting on my Facebook posts is set to “Public” that privacy isn't important to me. But that's not true. I choose to make some parts of my life public and keep other aspects private. The keyword here is “choose”. I support new technologies and companies that help further our ability to choose how we share our data with anyone, including governments.
Does anyone use Telegram on the regular? If so, what do you think? And what other apps, services, and technologies do you use to help you keep your digital life private?