Software engineers and protesters in Hong Kong have published warnings today against using Telegram at the risk of being doxxed. Gab has already received numerous reports of Telegram groups and channels being censored at the App Store level, with warnings citing Apple and Microsoft’s terms of service. Channels that Apple and Microsoft deem to be “offensive” are unable to be accessed from the Telegram app.
Any mobile app that exists inside of Apple and Google’s duopoly app store marketplace is subject to their rules. If you don’t follow them, they destroy your business. Imagine if Telegram got banned from both app stores. What would they do? So they are forced to bend the knee to Apple, Google, and even Microsoft.
This is why Gab has always built web-first. We refused to be held under the thumb of big tech giants. Telegram, and others that remain on the app stores, can’t say the same. They are controlled. Whether they realize it or not.
Engineers say they discovered an issue that can allow a threat actor, such as Chinese law enforcement or intelligence services, to obtain the phone numbers users utilized to register a Telegram account, which authorities can then track down to protesters’ real-world identities.
The issue is especially dangerous for protesters who have been very active in public Telegram groups, either arranging or urging other users to attend protests.
TELEGRAM PLAYS A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE HONG KONG PROTESTS
For the past few months, Hong Kong citizens have been protesting against an extradition bill proposed by the government of Hong Kong, which would make it easier to send Hong Kong residents to mainland China to face legal charges put forward by the Chinese state.
Massive protests with over a million attendees have been taking place almost daily, due to what locals see as a massive intrusion of the Chinese state into their daily lives.
In all of these protests, the Telegram instant messaging app has played a major role in helping residents organize their gatherings. For example, Telegram played a central role in a protest that took place today, with protesters forming a human chain across the city on the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Chain demonstration from 1989.
The app is loved because it supports encrypted anonymous communications, and its group chatting feature has helped users organize protests and pass instructions to all attendees.
— Read on www.zdnet.com/article/hong-kong-protesters-warn-of-telegram-feature-that-can-disclose-their-identities/