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Telegram pledges to make anti-censorship tools for Iran and China


Pavel Durov, the CEO of the encrypted instant messenger “Telegram” said on Monday it’s ramping up efforts to develop anti-censorship technologies serving users in countries where it is banned or partially blocked, including China and Iran.

Telegram became hugely popular in Russia and Iran. It was banned after the company refused to hand over encryption to the government of Iran to oversee the channels during the protests in Iran. It was banned in 2018 in Russia for the same reason.

Durov continued: “Over the course of the last two years, we had to regularly upgrade our ‘unblocking’ technology to stay ahead of the censors… We don’t want this technology to get rusty and obsolete. That is why we have decided to direct our anti-censorship resources into other places where Telegram is still banned by governments — places like Iran and China,”

Durov himself lived in Russia for years before going into self-imposed exile.

Telegram made the pledge right after the Russian’ government decided to lift the ban on this messenger last week.

The ban on Telegram in Russia was lifted after according to a Russian official, the messenger agreed to cooperate in anti-terrorism and extremism.

It remains to be seen what this agreement would mean for the privacy of the Telegram users, but the CEO has ensured the users that those will be the only fields of cooperation with the Russian government.

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