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What Isn't Telegram Saying About Its Connections To the Kremlin? (theoutline.com) 115

The supposedly secure messaging app Telegram has employees in St. Petersburg in the same building as Kremlin-influenced social network VK, news outlet the Outline reported on Friday citing multiple sources. William Turton, reporting for The Outline: Anton Rozenberg, a software developer and former employee of Telegram's parent company, is saying that there are Telegram employees working out of the historic Singer House in St. Petersburg, Russia's former imperial capital, a claim that has since been corroborated by others. That's significant because the Singer House is also home to VK, which is now owned by the oligarch and Putin ally Alisher Usmanov. (It's also the building where in 2012 Durov and coworkers infamously folded 5,000 ruble notes, worth about $150 each, into paper airplanes and threw them out the window, sparking violence in the street below.) The revelation casts doubt on Durov, who denies Telegram has an office in Russia, and continues to style himself as a rebel at odds with the complex Russian power structure that includes the government and oligarchy. It also raises questions about how safe Telegram is from Kremlin interference, given that VK is owned by a Kremlin sympathizer and that the Kremlin has an obvious interest in monitoring and controlling popular social networks. "As a security specialist, I have some questions about how their office isn't physically protected from the offices that surround it," Rozenberg told The Outline. "VK employees, for a long time, have had access to Telegram offices."
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What Isn't Telegram Saying About Its Connections To the Kremlin?

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  • Is Russia Russia Russia.

    And that's fine. KEEP DIGGING.

    But why is NOBODY looking into CHINA CHINA CHINA?!

    We have proof they meddled in our elections in 1996. Does everyone think they just magically stopped?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    In between you know... stealing our nuclear secrets in 1999?

    http://www.nytimes.com/1999/03... [nytimes.com]

    And weapon secrets... in 2009?

    http://www.popularmechanics.co... [popularmechanics.com]

    BUT SURELY they stopped right before the 2016 election! So don't worry guys, we don't need to look anymore.

    You know, i

    • And who thinks the US is any better? Spying on everyone... using every possible mean to further its agenda...

    • You know, if I was Russia, I'd actually be pushing for China investigations to keep people from looking into all my dirty laundry...

      Fixed that for you!

  • by Sarcasmooo! ( 267601 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @02:05PM (#55279053)

    Hallo fellow internet commentators! I am here to assuring you that of course the Kremlin is having nothing to do with such nonsense. Why would a vengeful former world power that does this kind of thing all the time and is run by a KGB agent, do this kind of thing at *this* time, and I assure you I am no agent! I and my and my fallow detractors simply grow tired of such conspiracy theories, I ask them because they are sitting right next to me at the Internet Research Agency [nytimes.com], a perfectly normal office building in St. Petersburg where 'journalists' such as myself and Mischa pass along the 'news' to your 'Democracy'.

    • I would like to subscribe to your newsletter and defect to your country and go out with that hot redheaded spy that we threw out of the USA!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

      Hallo fellow internet commentators! I am here to assuring you that of course the Kremlin is having nothing to do with such nonsense.

      OK, you're doing it wrong. You're supposed to post this using a userID of "BradFromUSA" with a stock photo of a hot girl or member of the US military as your avatar. Your bio is supposed to read something like, "USA military vet and totally American guy #2A #JesusIsLord #MAGA Lover of USA freedoms, #NASCAR".

      But to make it realistic, you should turn off the location tag so

      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        OK, you're doing it wrong...

        But that would ruin the parody.

      • OK, you're doing it wrong. You're supposed to post this using a userID of "BradFromUSA" with a stock photo of a hot girl or member of the US military as your avatar. Your bio is supposed to read something like, "USA military vet and totally American guy #2A #JesusIsLord #MAGA Lover of USA freedoms, #NASCAR".

        On Slashdot, they just post as Anonymous Cowards so they can't get their accounts banned.

    • by Sarcasmooo! ( 267601 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @02:15PM (#55279145)

      So please, at long last, stop with this silliness [wired.com]. We are doing nothing [vice.com]. Nothing [vice.com], nothing [time.com], nothing [cnn.com].

      So please do nothing in response, it will all be over soon.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Trump didn't get bought by Goldman Sachs et. al before the primaries so Jeb Bush financed peepee gate. Fake News
        Trump win the presidency so he's a Russian spy because he's suspicious of NATO and TPP etc.
        Telegram refused to accept bribes from US intelligence agencies (already coverd by slashdot) [slashdot.org], so they have links to the Kremlin.

        It's all deep state smear. Wake up and smell the sumatra

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        So please, at long last, stop with this silliness. We are doing nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

        Is this sarcasm? So hard to tell these days. The Russiagate nonsense is nothing more than Democrats having their turn at bullshit partisan witch hunts. They have just as much evidence as the Birther nutjobs who spent the late nineties insisting that Bill Clinton had Vince Foster shot, because reasons.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The run up to the Iraq war taught me that the mass media will lie shamelessly and in concert, and the opposition points to those lies will be buried or completely ignored. The anti-war protests were the largest in history, and completely ignored by the media

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    Now compare this to the coverage of some facebook ads paid for by people or a group believed to be connected to the Russian government. $100,000 in ads promoting various causes, over a period of 2 years. They're not ev

    • Translation: They outed my ideological allies, therefore the MSM is baaaaad....

      • Better Translation: Russian schills tout Hillary will start a war with Putin. Now that she lost, somebody else is pushing it. Leave Puty alone!!!

    • You cite Wikipedia, itself a bastion of meddling. I don't doubt the citation, as I was there. Social media is rife for messaging campaigns full of rancid BS. For that matter, so is Slashdot.

      When a preponderance of messaging convinces someone, the bad guys win. For some, any particular message might be bias-side and more readily received, for others, it will take much more convincing depending on their public/private world views.

      There is no longer any such thing as "the media". There are sources you can kind

      • There are 83 sources cited at the bottom of the Wikipedia article. If you think something in the article is inaccurate, you are free to go to the sources and check.

        Now tell me how many sources your favorite news provider cites in their articles.

        • Didn't read my post, did you? People see what they want to see. I believe that the citation made was fine. Read my post.

          Factually, Wikipedia has great stuff, and stuff that is as fictional as Grimm's Fairy Tales, yet purported to be fact.... citations and all.

          Who do I trust? Not many. Not you-- you can't even read a post.

  • Just let me know. Because this internet is all a big mess as of now.
  • This kind of editorializing is why I didn't really miss this site that much during the outage earlier this week.
  • The oligarch probably made sure he wasn't using the same building as Putin does for his army of social network trolls [nytimes.com] spewing their lies [theguardian.com]
  • " folded 5,000 ruble notes, worth about $150 each, into paper airplanes and threw them out the window,"

    Can't be Russia. In Russia, airplane throw you out the window.
  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @02:37PM (#55279341)

    What isn't msmash saying about Slashdot's downtime?

    Earlier this week, Slashdot went into read only mode and was all sorts of broken. This went on for an extended period of time. Slashdot and its editors, including msmash, have remained mostly silent on the matter. What aren't they saying? Just how deeply was Russia involved? Which Slashdot editors colluded with the Kremlin? Why haven't they turned over the details about the ad buy?

  • There are IRS agents working in the same building as my company.

    Quod Erat Demonstrandum. My company is a secret IRS informant!

  • It’s not the fact that they’re in the same building that’s the problem, it’s they denied they were even in the same country.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If only there were a Non-Profit organization whose sole mission were to create and maintain a highly secure, private encrypted messaging system with minimalistic recordkeeping and metadata, and they would just share all their code with the public for inspection and have several security audits of it and then freely share that code with anybody who wants to improve their users' security or set up their own wholly independent system, even Google and Facebook... oh yeah, that's Open Whisper Systems and their S

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "given that VK is owned by a Kremlin sympathizer and that the Kremlin has an obvious interest in monitoring and controlling popular social networks"

    This one sentence here is kinda ridiculous. Would you describe any US company as being a "White House sympathizer" just because they take the occasional meeting with WH staff to discuss legislation?

    And since the US government is the absolute worse at trying to undermine privacy protections, you could also say they have an obvious, and evidenced desire to monitor

  • WTF is Telegram, and why would we care if they were completely owned by Russians?

    If the elections are so easy to sway with a few social media posts, do we not have an argument to set voting standards? (And the uproar is not necessary. The number of Dsn are Rs eliminated will be approximately the same.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Telegram is a chat app similar to Whatsapp but it's got end to end encryption. US intelligence agencies tried to bribe them to remove their encryption. They refused and voila - they have "links to the Kremlin!!"
      Trump!, Russia!!, Possible Collusion!!! [youtube.com] Fake news folks

      • by jurgen ( 14843 )

        similar to Whatsapp but it's got end to end encryption.

        Why "but"? Whatsapp has end-to-end encryption.

  • The Russian Tea Room is in the same space as Carnegie Hall - what are the musicians not telling us about that waltz.
    Russian Embassies in Australia - what goes on down under?

  • It is a virtual certainty that invisible spy-rays have infected all Telegram employees!

    In other news, the most dumb story on /. today has been identified, and it has something to do "Telegram". Seriously, stop this utterly demented crap.

  • Shit, I used to work in the same building as Velocity Networks. The only connection I had to them was to use the connection they supplied to the entire building, and the one time I had to de-pwn someone else's network and found that the pwners were likely Velocity employees based on the very much in-house IP addresses of the attackers. (Either that or Velocity itself was pwned, which I don't rule out.)

    Does that mean I'm somehow "connected" to Velocity Networks, one of the more notorious (at the time) spamme

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