Telegram, one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, has been shut down by the Russian government.
“Privacy Is Not for Sale”
A recent Forbes article has reported that the Russian government has moved on shutting down Telegram, the major messaging platform, in Russia. The FSB, Russia’s main intelligence agency, requested the encryption keys for the app multiple times, but the messaging platform refused to hand them over.
The founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, is now living in self-imposed exile. About this volatile situation, he said:
Privacy is not for sale. Human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed.
Durov fears that if the government gains access to private communications and messages, it may be potentially abused by political figures. David Gorodyansky, founder and CEO of AnchorFree, has chimed in, saying:
Internet freedom is more important now than ever before. Russia blocking Telegram is yet another example of an attack on basic freedoms to communicate privately, but citizens are fighting back.
Gorodyansky also added:
People want their online privacy…and they want it away from big corporations and governments,
The ongoing tussle with the Russian government hasn’t dented the app’s popularity. The messaging platform currently has over 200 million active monthly users and received roughly 700,000 signups every day for the last week of March.
The Telegram ICO
The popular messaging app is currently raising funds through an initial coin offering. According to the website Coinschedule, Telegram’s token sale is the biggest ICO ever with over $1.7 billion currently raised.
Ironically, the actions taken by the government of Russia could bolster the platform’s token, TON. Analysts believe that Telegram’s decision to not give the encryption keys to Russian law enforcement agencies may give token sale investors more confidence for the future of the project. The fact that Pavel Durov has been willing to go to the mat against the Russian government is an action that the crypto community can easily rally around and support.
What are your thoughts on Telegram’s decision not to hand out encryption keys to Russian law enforcement? Do you think that this will give Telegram ICO investors more confidence? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Pxhere and Bitcoinist archives.