WhatsApp Calls Out Telegram for Its Lack of Encryption

A few months ago Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, the parent company behind WhatsApp, claimed that WhatsApp is more secure than iMessage. Now, Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp at Meta, is taking on Telegram this time.

Cathcart cited an article by Wired and his own criticisms of Telegram’s end-to-end encryption (E2EE) implementation.

According to Cathcart, Telegram’s E2EE implementation has not been independently verified and has other flaws. For instance, it is not enabled by default, and E2EE is not available for group chats due to the issues it would cause when backing up data, according to Telegram.

However, Team Blue also has its own criticisms of Team Green. For instance, when users back up chats to Google Drive, encryption is effectively disabled because the backups are not encrypted, and government agencies can petition Google for the data instead of WhatsApp.

Both parties have an interest in claiming that their service is superior to the other. For more details on Cathcart’s critique of Telegram, you can read his Twitter thread above.

Additionally, the Wired article mentioned in the previous paragraph is worth reading as it describes several instances of Russian authorities seemingly having access to secret Telegram chats. Furthermore, Telegram’s location API has flaws, which may have given away users’ locations to a radius of approximately 3 km/2 mi. Although Telegram reworked the API, it may not have fully resolved the issue.

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