US government wanted backdoor to Telegram – founder — RT World News

Russian-born IT entrepreneur Pavel Durov said he came under pressure from the FBI while living in America.

In an interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson, the founder of the social media platform, Pavel Durov, said that the US government wanted a backdoor to the Telegram application in order to potentially spy on its users. He said the FBI's interest was one of the reasons Durov abandoned the idea of ​​setting up the company in San Francisco.

Born in St. Petersburg, Durov first founded VK, the Russian version of Facebook, with his mathematician brother Nikolai. The brothers later developed the Telegram messaging service and social media platform, which describes itself as one of the most secure and well-protected communication tools.

Durov sold his stake in VK and left Russia in 2014 due to disagreements with the government. He lived in several countries while looking for the best place to run Telegram from, eventually settling in Dubai.

In an interview published on Wednesday, Durov said he had visited the United States several times, and even met former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. He said he was under FBI surveillance, which made his stay in America uncomfortable.

“We got a lot of attention from the FBI and security agencies wherever we went.” Durov told Carlson, describing the experience as “Worrying.”

According to Durov, one of his senior employees once told him that the US government had contacted him. “There was a secret attempt to hire my engineers behind my back by cybersecurity officers.” The businessman said.

“They were trying to convince him to use some open source tools that he would then integrate into the Telegram code and which, in my opinion, would be backdoors.” Durov said. He added that he believed the employee's story. “There is no reason for my engineers to make up (such) stories.”

Durov went on to say that he did too “I personally faced similar pressures.” In America, where he was approached by law enforcement officials on multiple occasions.

Even when I would go to the United States, there would be two FBI agents who would greet me at the airport and ask me questions. One time, I was eating breakfast at 9 a.m. and the FBI showed up at the house I was renting.

“My understanding is that they wanted to establish a relationship to better control Telegram. I understand that they were doing their job. [But] For us, since we run a privacy-focused social media platform, this probably wasn't the best environment to be in. Durov explained.

The tech entrepreneur admitted that protest organizers had used Telegram in several countries around the world. He stressed, however, that he wanted the program to remain politically neutral and not take sides.

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