Telegram is a free, cloud -based instant messaging – service for use on smartphones , tablets , Smart Watches and PCs. Telegram users can exchange text messages, photos, videos and documents. The development team is based in Dubai , according to its own statements ;  However, no imprint is given on the website. The founder Pawel Durow and his employees see themselves as digital nomads . The user has two modes for sending messages: For all “normal messages”, the messages are saved permanently and also for the operator – and thus anyone who has access to the server – on their servers (“cloud chats”).  Among other things, Edward Snowden and the security expert and co-developer of the signal protocol Moxie Marlinspike therefore criticized the fact that the safety of Telegram solely based on confidence in the operator.   End-to-end encryption is only available for the “Secret Chats” that can be activated optionallyused. However, the respective messages are then only stored on the end devices of the respective users from which the chat was started.  These are only available for conversations between two users, not for groups or channels, and only for a few desktop clients.
The MTProto protocol developed by Telegram itself is used for communication between the Telegram server and the end device. The security of this protocol, the overall concept, as well as the marketing as a “secure messenger” have been criticized by experts many times.
Telegram was founded in 2013 by the brothers Nikolai and Pawel Durow , who had already founded the most popular Russian social network, Vk.com .  Telegram Messenger LLP ( partnership under British / US law) is an independent non-profit company . According to the Telegram website, the developer team is in Dubai after trying locations such as Russia, Berlin, London and Singapore  and, according to its own information, is not related to Vk.com or Russia. Telegram Messenger LLP is registered at the London address of a company headquartered in the Seychelles . This company is owned by two companies based in the Virgin Islands and Belize .   However, the Telegram Messenger LLP was dissolved by Pavel Durow in January 2019.  According to press reports, Telegram has employees in St. Petersburg. 
Nikolai Durow wrote the MTProto protocol on which Telegram is based. His brother Pawel provides the financial basis. Telegram is a free app without ads, which may later be financed through donations.  The service is in competition with many other mobile IM clients . As a result of the WhatsApp takeover by Facebook , Telegram also established itself as one of the most successful free instant messenger alternatives for all common platforms. 
The code of the Telegram clients – but not the server – is largely publicly available and licensed under the GNU GPL . An open programming interface (API) is offered for the server . Building on this, some alternative clients were published,  for example the Plus Messenger,  which was initially released in 2015 under the name Telegram Plus  as the immediate successor to WhatsApp Plus, and the Socializer Messenger from Samsung , which was the beginning The ChatON service that was discontinued in 2015 is to replace
In February 2014, Telegram announced that over five million new users had registered. This should be directly related to the purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook.  The same happened Telegram a year later, in February 2015 when a judge in Brazil ordered the nationwide closure of WhatsApp. Telegram quickly reported an increase of over 2.5 million users.  In May 2015, Pavel Durow announced that Telegram has 62 million monthly active users who send two billion messages a day.  As of February 2016 Telegram has indicated that 100 million monthly active users, and provides 15 billion messages in a day.  In 2016, Telegram with almost 50 million new app downloads is far ahead of the competitors Signal (3.62 million) and Wickr (3.8 million), but far behind WhatsApp with around 225 million downloads in 2016.  Im In March 2018, the development team announced that it had reached the limit of 200 million users per month. 
State blockade efforts edit
Since the “normal” in contrast to the “secret” messages and also the link to the contacts are in principle accessible to the operators of Telegram in plain text, access to the service is attractive for state actors. To enforce this, the service in Russia is blocked. There were or were blockades in Iran , Indonesia  and China  for censorship reasons .
Telegram is quite popular in Russia with 14 million users  . Dimitri Peskow , a spokesman for Putin, mentioned in the RBK newspaper in 2017 that the service was also used in the government of Russia: “In the Kremlin, we use telegram for internal communication”.  Kremlin employees were recommended after the attempt to block Telegram from mid-April 2018, for example the messenger service ICQ . 
After the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, the Russian secret service FSB repeatedly asked Telegram to give them the duplicate keys for data decryption of the private chats, most recently in March 2018.   Critics consider this to be an argument advanced.  Telegram, on the other hand, could appeal because of the threat of blocking the service in Russia. However, the founder of Telegram explicitly excluded data transfer again on Twitter.  As a result, on April 6, 2018, Roskomnadzor filed a lawsuit against Telegram to block the service in Russia.  TheNovaya Gazeta suspected that the censorship, like that of the LinkedIn network , which had been blocked in Russia since 2017 , would be circumvented and also gave a few tips. 
Telegram protest in Kaliningrad with paper plane on April 30, 2018
Due to the undisclosed keys, a court allowed the authority to block the service on April 13, 2018.  Then changed Telegram constantly the IP addresses, through which it handles its data traffic, and attacked it on third parties such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud back. As a result, websites of major Russian media and companies were also blocked, which geared their offers to their services. In addition to Amazon and Google, the VTB bank, the state video agency Ruptly , Odnoklassniki.ru , Spotify , Viber , Mastercard ,SoundCloud , FIFA and various online gaming platforms; recently also targeted Google services such as Gmail or Google search .  The supervisory authority Roskomnadzor has thereby also blocked parts of its own site.  The agency set up a hotline where victims can report if their Internet services are affected. Alexander Sharov , head of the agency, told the Vedomosti newspaper that the armaments race with the developers was in progress. A total of just under 19 million IP addresses were blocked, according to operator information without a significant decline in messenger operations in Russia.  Blockages were avoided , among other things, by encrypted VPN connections or proxy servers .
Telegram co-founder Pawel Durow thanked the Russian Telegram users for their support and loyalty as well as: “Thank you Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft for not participating in the political censorship.”  In the Russian app stores known provider, Telegram is still available despite the request for removal; the number of users doubled within a few days.
According to the authorities, only 30 percent of the users could be “locked out”. Organizations like Amnesty International or the American Civil Liberties Union urged companies like Amazon and Google not to give in to pressure from the Russian authorities.  The Russian-language website based in LatviaMeduza reports losses in the billions for the Russian economy,  as the blockages led to online storage failures, geolocation, e-payment services, banking services, AI systems, mobile apps and support services.  There were also first claims for damages. Ochir Manzhikov – PR chief of the Russian search engine Yandex – criticized: “The attempt to block Telegram has become an unexpected blow to the whole Ru-Net” and called for open competition for the Russian market. “In particular, lack of freedom and a lack of choice for users are the most dangerous consequences of the blockade.” On April 30, around eight to ten thousand people protested at Sakharov Square in Moscow against the authorities’ attempts to block them.  
Lastly, after temporary blockades in January 2018,  after the protests in early 2018 , it should be blocked in mid-April, according to a state news agency from Iran’s Telegram. Relying on Alaeddin Borudscherdi , chairman of the parliamentary committee for national security and foreign policy, “decisions were made at the highest political level”. The app should be replaced by the local, far less popular service Sorusch . From a national security perspective, Telegram would have played “a destructive role” in the recent political crises.  The government of President Hassan Ruhanilike the Ministry of Communication are against a blockade. Telegram currently in Iran more than 40 or even 50 million users, Soroush unconfirmed information, however only 5 million,  the Novaya Gazeta wrote: Telegram is the Internet in Iran, it is synonymous with the Internet itself; Traffic on Telegram accounts for 40 percent of all digital traffic, also because other services such as Facebook and Twitter are blocked.  According to the Iranian news agency Tasnim , the Iranian judiciary officially ordered the ban in late April.
Logging on to Telegram is via a phone number that does not have to be that of the device itself. The phone number is then sent via SMSor call verified. Any number of devices can be registered with the same number. Content is then synchronized between these devices, except in “secret chats”. The number associated with the account can be changed at any time and the user’s contacts automatically receive the new number. In addition, a user can set up a user name that enables them to send and receive messages without revealing their own phone number. Telegram accounts can be deleted at any time. By default, the account is automatically deleted after six months of inactivity, but can be changed in the settings by the user to one, three or twelve months. 
Since May 19, 2015, users can create virtual sticker collections and publish them to friends.  Since January 2016, it has also been possible to send individual MP4 videos without sound directly from the sticker panel.  These act like gif animations . GIFs sent in Messenger are automatically converted to the much smaller MP4 format. Animated stickers have been available since July 2019. 
Incomplete messages are saved as drafts in cloud-based chats and groups and synchronized between different user devices. The draft remains in the editing area on each device until it is sent or removed. 
polls (in groups and channels)
Since version 5.1 (December 2018)  it has been possible to insert surveys into groups and channels without script programming, which the participants can answer (initially only anonymously). The number of votes cast and the percentage distribution of the answers to the up to 10 questions that can be formulated in free text are shown in the chat after you have voted yourself.
Telegram has also been offering an extensive API to create your own bots since June 24, 2015 .  With various commands you can control them in your own chat or in group chats. You can set whether bots in group chats have read access to all messages or only those that contain “@Botname”. Many creative bots have been created through the bot platform. To find these bots, there are separate libraries, for example the StoreBot,  where users can rate bots and search for different categories. In January 2016, the bot platform was expanded to include so-called inline functions.  Bots equipped with inline functions can then also perform functions in private chats or groups in which they are not included.
On September 22, 2015, Telegram announced that channels will replace the previous distribution lists. These are chats in which only certain members (administrators) can write messages (visible to all members). It is also not possible to determine which person the author is, since the sender is always the channel name. There are private channels and public channels.  If channels are public, they have no subscriber limit. Anyone with the link can join it. Only the number of participants is shown publicly, no names or telephone numbers, and for each message the number of those who have read them.
At the end of March 2017, Telegram launched its own calls. The calls are based on end-to-end encryption from Secret Chats. The connection is set up as a peer-to-peer if possible, otherwise the closest Telegram server to the client is used. According to Telegram, there is a neural network that works to learn various technical parameters about the call to ensure a better quality of service for future applications. A secure, clear voice connection can be verified by showing the same emojis to the other party.  After a brief first try in Western Europe, voice calls are now available in most countries.
As of version 4.0, which was released in May 2017, Telegram offers a dedicated video hosting platform called Telescope.  Videos can be up to one minute long, are displayed in a round frame and are usually played automatically, an option that can also be deactivated. If they are posted on a public channel on Telegram, they will also be uploaded and published on telesco.pe. However, Telegram video messages and “Telescope” videos that are broadcast in private chats or groups are not published.
With version 4.4, Telegram users have been able to share their current location in chat for fifteen minutes, one or eight hours since October 2017.  If several users share their location in a group, they can be seen on an interactive map.
Telegram users have been able to use a login function on third-party websites since February 2018 under the name “Telegram Login”.  The gateway sends the Telegram name, the user name on the website and the user’s profile picture to the owner of the website, while a possible telephone number associated with the Telegram account remains hidden. The gateway is integrated into a bot that is linked to the developer’s specific website domain.
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