In the recent news, the WhatsApp rival messaging service, Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov has spoken up about the growing privacy and security concerns around the popular app amid the Ukraine crisis. In his public Telegram channel, the Russian Telegram founder posted a throwback of his history of safeguarding user data from the Russian government.
The Russian Telegram Founder is Half Ukrainian from His Mom’s Side
The Russian Telegram founder, Pavel Durov reminisced of his connections to both Ukraine and Russia, stating, “If you follow my posts, you know that on my Mom’s side, I trace my family line from Kyiv. Her maiden name is Ukrainian (Ivanenko), and to this day we have many relatives living in Ukraine. That’s why this tragic conflict is personal both to me and Telegram. Some people wondered if Telegram is somehow less secure for Ukrainians because I once lived in Russia.”
Furthermore, Telegram was co-founded by brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov who had previously created VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. Amid the Ukraine crisis, the instant messaging platform became a vital source of information. Previously, the Russian government had tried to shut down Telegram but dropped the initiative in 2020.
Pavel Durov Hopes for an Immediate End to the Conflict
Moreover, the, Russian Telegram founder, Pavel Durov is also the founder of VK. Durov mentions that in the early 2010s, the Russian government pressured him to hand over the data of Ukrainians opposing the Russia-friendly Ukrainian leader at the time. Durov refused and ended up losing control of VK and fleeing the country.
9 years ago I defended the private data of Ukrainians from the Russian government — and lost my company and my home. I would do it again without hesitation. https://t.co/GUFCjbqDc5
— Pavel Durov (@durov) March 7, 2022
Telegram also wrote in its channel, “Telegram’s multi-national team includes many members from Ukraine. We all wish for an immediate end to the conflict.” Experts worry that chats in Telegram are not end-to-end encrypted, making the platform vulnerable to hacks. Users have to trust that the platform will not expose user data to the government amid the Ukraine crisis.