US Government Tried to Spy on People, Telegram Founder Claims

Apr 17, 2024 | Political News

The United States government wanted a so-called “backdoor” in to Telegram to potentially spy on its users, according to the messaging app's founder.

Pavel Durov, who launched Telegram in 2013 and currently serves as its CEO, made the claim during an interview with Tucker Carlson that aired on Tuesday night.

Russian-born Durov first rose to prominence as a co-founder of VKontakte (VK), which is frequently referred to as the Russian alternative to Facebook. He recounted to Carlson that he resigned from VK and fled Russia due to the Kremlin pressuring him to share Ukrainian pro-democracy protesters' personal data in 2013.

Durov denied the existence of any ties between Telegram, which is popular in Russia and used by many pro-Kremlin military bloggers, and Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s government. But he also claimed to having felt “pressured” by the U.S. government in the past.