Pavel Durov, the chief executive and founder of mobile messaging platform Telegram, has lent his voice to the campaign to use tech to fight government censorship. Yesterday, the Russian programmer published a post on Telegram, where he reiterated his dedication to the anti-censorship battle.
Penetrating Censored Markets to Facilitate Information
Following the government of Russia lifting its ban on the service, Durov explained that the firm would not rest on the successes it has gotten. Instead, it would continue fighting to bring down misinformation and censorship in countries like Iran and China.
Durov explained that Telegram has been developing anti-censorship tools in several countries, including those where the service isn’t allowed. In part, he explained:
“We have decided to direct our anti-censorship resources into other places where Telegram is still banned by governments – places like Iran and China. We ask the admins of the former proxy servers for Russian users to focus their efforts on these countries.”
Telegram just got back into Russia after two years. Many believed that the initial ban was a part of the Russian government’s approach to curtailing the growth of its crypto space, as Telegram had become a popular platform for pro-crypto views, forums, and discussions.
However, while the service was banned in the country, Durov also explained in his post that the ban wasn’t overly productive. As he pointed out, the team was able to use anti-censorship tools and rotating proxy servers to evade the ban. The result is a doubled customer base in the past the years, despite supposedly being banned.
This move has begun what Durov and the Telegram team termed the “Digital Resistance.” The CEO confirmed that the company would continue even after Telegram gets welcomed back into its home country.
Telegram Successfully Protects Its ICO Investors
With nations like China notorious for curtailing the spread of information on their cyberspaces and media channels, the firm hopes it can access these areas and liberate people.
Apart from the fight to end censorship, Telegram has also been working to protect the identities of participants in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The company raised $1.7 billion through ICOs back in 2018, intending to develop the Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain and a naïve token, known as the GRAM.
However, a lengthy battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began just weeks after both were slated to launch. Durov confirmed in a message from last month that the firm would be ending all active involvement with the project.
As part of its case, the SEC submitted a cache of documents to support its ICO’s restraining order. The documents included exhibits that revealed some venture capital firms and investors who participated in the ICO.
Last week, a U.S. District Judge approved redaction requests from Telegram to redact the investors’ identities. Per reports, the judge explained that the decision ensured that a significant part of the exhibit would remain sealed permanently. This way, they can protect the interests of all parties – especially the ICO investors.
In the meantime, of course, Telegram’s crypto efforts appear to be dead in the water.