Given that I do not consider Durov the freedom fighter he claims to be, indeed I believe that Telegram is one of the many "baits" against people seeking privacy.
It would certainly not be the first: for example, protonmail is another example of a service created by NSA, sold as "privacy-friendly", in order to attract those who seek privacy and spy on them even better: https://encryp.ch/ blog / truth-about-protonmail / .
But let's get back to Telegram. While I don't see Durov as an advocate for human rights, he wrote something important.
In short, there was a Russian voting orientation application, similar to the German wahl-o-mat, which asked you questions about how you feel about certain issues and suggested which party to vote for.
As it appears that many Russians are still Communists, the app has suggested the Russian Communist Party many times, and the government has called for it to be suspended, appealing to an end-of-propaganda law on the day before the election.
Durov, according to what he says, would not have wanted to cancel the channel-bot that uses Telegram to operate the APP through a bot. (I don't know if this is true).
But what he says later is true: if he had not obeyed the request, his app would have disappeared from the two markets that matter: the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
A duopoly. A duopoly that can decide to shut down an application that deals with political information. As they did in Hong Kong, so to speak. And how they did in Belarus, so to speak. As they did in Iran, so to speak.
The question that arises is always the same: but how is it that these two companies are always so in agreement in being with the dictators?
I mean, we're talking about a request that literally came the day before the election. If a democratic state calls for the removal of a malicious app, it takes weeks to make "the delicate decision that impacts freedom of speech":
Too bad that when a dictator arrives and says "will you please me?", He always means "in five minutes". There are no resistances. They don't try to buy time.
Here's the thing: GAFAMs are under pressure only in democratic countries. Only in democratic countries are there antitrust authorities that control them, only in democratic countries are there parliaments that decide and discuss their actions.
In tyrannical countries, on the other hand, just do what the dictator says and you are pretty sure. requests).
Let me be clear: Telegram still went well. Apple and Google could make an app with the same icon and the same structure, call it Telegram, replace the real Telegram and thus monitor subscribers, at least at the first opening of the program.
So if they asked Durov to shut down the election bot channel, it worked out well after all.
(Speaking of which, when you download Telegram, are you sure you don't download anything modified from Apple or Google to let the traffic watch? LOL).
But here we are: what else do you need to understand that Google and Apple, as a duopoly, are a dictatorship IN THE POLITICAL SENSE OF THE TERM?
You will say that in the end, governments are to blame, but this is not the case. If you were a pseudo-superpower, you were to compete in Asia with China and you found yourself with a growing Communist Party, you would be shitting yourself too.
If after educating citizens to renounce human rights and despise democracies, you are afraid that a communist party, financed by nonsochi, will take power and throw you into a gulag, your fear is more than justified. Also because it is not a party of old people or a vassal of Putin: we are talking about a party that has more votes than Navalny's and is fucking hostile.
How is it that nothing happens to them? No police? Arrestitorture? Asking who protects them is a must.
So I understand the anxiety of the Moscow government to block, in all possible ways, their growth: they risk that tomorrow China will reach Europe simply by expanding the Communist Party in Russia, or by financing an existing one.
No country, in 2021, would be comfortable with a growing Communist Party (it is not that there are many nations that could support it), but on the other hand, Putin's motivations do not concern us. The problem is the ease and authority with which they could have ordered Durov to shut down the channel, or else they would have killed his application and his company.
Because in fact Apple and Google have completely closed something whose only problem was to recommend a party that Putin does not want to win.
Obviously, I know nothing is going to happen. Apple's sycophants, who do not think as sycophants, would justify the company even if it grated babies, while the Android user in general does not ask himself the problem because he believes he has only bought a cell phone.
But the result is very, very simple: in the next elections in Europe, Apple and Google can make a party, its apps, its communication channels with the voters disappear, and nobody could do anything about it.
And people believe dictatorship is the green pass.