First the Russians now Iran: Telegram will be illegal soon

The Russians forced telegram to give away the decryption key(s), Iran seems to follow this example – they want to disallow the messenger in general. Some smart user use a VPN in order to bypass the limitation – but how long will this work?


Iran wants to disallow the download of Telegram

According to Iran want’s to go a slightly different way than the Russians, they want to disallow any download links to the popular telegram messenger. However, people could (and will) bypass this the same way like they bypass the Facebook & twitter restriction with a VPN. It’s questionable if that not ends up with the same as Netflix that you get flagged by your provider soon or later. So you only win a bit time.

Why Threema is better

Threema is in swiss the jurisdiction is different which means other countries can’t force them to give away the keys or source code unless Swiss itself agree in this or change some laws (which i doubt). Threema itself is more the adult messenger while all other solutions are more for kids, Telegram had often ‘security’ problems in the past while Threema solved their problem (only one with group chat) within 12 hours which shows that it’s superior over other clients.

Why does the news matter?

It’s not about Telegram or Threema, the question is more and more about encryption and how to handle it. The government and several organizations have a huge interest in the keys and even if the messenger promises that they won’t give anything away they mostly do it when the government is involved. Besides the moralistic aspect it attacks directly any application or encrypted protocol since you can be sure that this is only the beginning of an area to defeat any encryption.

This is however not new, what is new is that the developers are given everything away, I see this critical and it shows you can’t trust any of their words because when the government knocks on your door 99,9% people do everything in order to ‘resolve the conflict’ otherwise it mostly ends-up with jail time.

Final Words

VPN’s log, Messenger log and everyone tries to get your data and keys. All is already an old cap and personally I care less and less about it because to me it’s only logical that they break their promises because no one likes conflicts – but why build something ‘against the system’ if you#re not able to fight it is still beyond me.

Other voices saying blockchain – I’m not sure if that’s a solution because the entire network has been monitored already and once the key is given away it doesn’t matter if you’re connected from PC or mobile phone x or y it will anyway decrypted.

What we really need

Credibility is what we need, protocols which are so secure that even if keys are given away it only reveals some bits of information instead of everything. Sadly such a protocol doesn’t exist and the main problem on that is that some meta-data still are enough to compromise you, especially if you’re already a target eg. journalists.