DECEMBER 9, 2022
USA News

Telegram Founder Accuses US Authorities of Attempting to Spy on Users

Telegram Founder Accuses US Authorities of Attempting to Spy on Users

Pavel Durov, the founder of the popular messaging application Telegram, revealed in an interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson that US authorities have repeatedly tried to gain access to the platform, seemingly with the intention of spying on its users.

Durov stated that officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) approached him or his employees multiple times. "We got too much attention from the FBI, the security agencies, wherever we came," Durov said, expressing concern over the "alarming" experiences. He revealed that such encounters were among the primary reasons he decided against establishing his company in the US.

Detailing his encounters with US authorities, Durov mentioned, "Whenever I would go to the US, I would have two FBI agents greeting me at the airport, asking questions. One time, I was having breakfast at 9 am, and the FBI showed up at the house that I was renting." He added, "My understanding is that they wanted to establish a relationship to control Telegram better."

Durov, who is Russian-born and left his country in 2014 to expand his company, also disclosed that US agents attempted to recruit one of his engineers for their purposes. "There was a secret attempt to hire my engineer behind my back by cybersecurity officers," he said, adding, "They were trying to persuade him to use certain open-source tools that he would then integrate into Telegram’s code, which, in my understanding, would serve as backdoors."

Currently, Telegram is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Durov mentioned in the interview that the messaging platform is on track to surpass one billion active monthly users within a year, up from the current 900 million users.

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