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US spooks tried to bribe Telegram developers

by on16 June 2017

Claims Russian founder 

Pavel Durov, the Russian founder of the popular secure messaging app Telegram, has claimed that US intelligence agencies tried twice to bribe his company's developers to weaken encryption in the app.

Durov said that last year during the team's visit to the United States, developers were approached by US agencies.  Apparently  bribe money was offered, but politely refused by the developers who have all the money they need, thanks very much.

At the same time he was pressured by the FBI to put a back-door into the Telegram software.

Durov, who is Russian claimed that all this happened over the course of a week. "It would be naive to think you can run an independent/secure cryptoapp based in the US."

Telegram is one of the most secure messaging apps available today, though researchers have found flaws in it. Curiously, though, he did not say if the Russian authorities had also attempted to make him an offer he could not refuse.  We would have thought that if the US spooks were keen to get a backdoor into the software, then the Russian security services would be definitely up for it.

We guess that they might have learnt their lesson from the last time. In that case, Putin's allies had to take over Durov's company before it would do what it was told. Durov claimed his ouster was the result of both his refusal to hand over personal details of users to federal law enforcement and his refusal to hand over the personal details of people who were members of a VKontakte group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement.

Last modified on 16 June 2017
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