Telegram founder again warns users to keep distance from WhatsApp, terms it ‘surveillance weapon’

New Delhi: Pavel Durov, the founder of the messaging app Telegram, attacked WhatsApp harshly, labelling the Meta-owned service a “surveillance weapon.”

Durov warned WhatsApp users to avoid the app in a message on Thursday, pointing up a security flaw that WhatsApp had previously revealed in September. He asserted that WhatsApp has been putting user data at risk and that the business has been monitoring user data for the last 13 years.

“Hackers could gain complete access to everything on WhatsApp users’ phones.” Furthermore, he said that WhatsApp’s security flaws are a deliberate design.

“Every year we learn about some issue in WhatsApp that puts everything on their users’ devices at risk… It doesn’t matter if you are the richest person on Earth – if you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, all your data from every app on your device is accessible,” he added.

Durov said last year that the new WhatsApp conditions require users to give Facebook access to all of their personal information. This time, he claimed, he is not pressuring them to use Telegram.

“With over 700 million active users and more than 2 million daily signups, Telegram doesn’t need additional promotion. You can use any messaging app you like, but stay away from WhatsApp — it has now been a surveillance tool for 13 years,” he claimed.

Durov claimed WhatsApp’s mechanisms weren’t as safe as they claimed in 2020.

Durov claimed that WhatsApp promoted end-to-end encryption as some sort of magical spell that is intended to make all communications secure automatically in a blog post titled “Why using WhatsApp is risky.”

“However, this technology is not a silver bullet that can guarantee absolute privacy by itself,” he said.

Durov asserted that Telegram’s “Secret Chats” are much safer than any alternative communication method.

“Don’t let yourself be fooled by the tech equivalent of circus magicians who’d like to focus your attention on one isolated aspect, all while performing their tricks elsewhere. They want you to think about end-to-end encryption as the only thing you have to look at for privacy. The reality is much more complicated,” the executive wrote.


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