Revising its privacy policies, encrypted messaging service Telegram this week announced on its website that moving forward it will cooperate with terror investigations by providing relevant authorities with suspects’ IP addresses and phone numbers, pending a court order.
“So far, this has never happened. When it does, we will include it in a semiannual transparency report published at: https://t.me/transparency,” the policy states.
However, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has reportedly made it clear on his personal Telegram channel that his service will not comply with requests from Russian government investigators to allow them access to user messages. Russia currently prohibits Telegram, but according to reports, Russian authorities would consider overturning the ban if the service agrees to provide keys for decrypting users’ communications.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the U.S. Department of Justice has been attempting to compel Facebook to break the encryption of a criminal suspect’s Messenger app communications so that authorities can listen in on the alleged gang member’s voice conversations. Taking the case to a federal court in California, the government is reportedly seeking to hold Facebook in contempt of court over its refusal to cooperate.