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Signal founder reveals Telegram’s failure as an encrypted messenger in an explosive Twitter thread

“Telegram and FB Messenger are built exactly the same way. Neither are ‘encrypted messengers’,” says Moxie Marlinspike.

telegram logo with blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

The encrypted messenger wars are heating up. In a revealing Twitter thread posted last week, Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of the Signal messaging app, went on a tirade that basically calls Telegram the worst choice when it comes to encrypted messengers.

That’s a pretty bold statement to call out a competitor like that publically. What does he know that we don’t? Well, a lot. Thankfully he breaks it down below.

The gist of the Twitter thread boils down to this. Marlinspike doesn’t appreciate it when the media lumps Signal in the same conversation as Telegram and claims the app isn’t truly encrypted, as the app leads us to believe.

Marlinspike explains it better than I ever could, so let’s just take a look at the thread and see what he has to say about all of this: 

Marlinspike’s beef with Telegram lies mainly in how the media covers them. The company markets its app like any other app out there to sign up new users. But is Marlinspike’s claims about Telegram’s encryption valid?

As one Twitter user notes in reply to Marlinspike, “Before ranting on the competition instead of actually improving your stagnant product, you should probably give the full story,” Twitter user @AllStars101X writes in a tweet. “Although telegram doesn’t have complete e2e, it does have some level of client-server encryption (enough to prevent major exploration of data).”

Marlinspike’s Twitter thread certainly ruffled some feathers. One Twitter user replied to Marlinspike, “Make Signal better instead of attacking the competitors. Lame.” Others shared the same sentiment in the list of replies to the Twitter thread.

The thread goes on and on, and so do the replies to the original thread. Finally, in response to a reply in how Signal could improve its app vs. bashing its competitors, in closing, Marlinespike offered this response:

“Plenty of people use and love Signal, and there’s a great team working hard every day to make it better. This thread is not about Signal or what people “should” value or use. It’s about calling something that doesn’t provide encrypted communication an “encrypted messenger.”

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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