Signal vs Telegram Apps Which Is Better for Privacy and Security? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15188551
No encrypted messaging app or ANYTHING is 100% secure. However, some apps are more secure than others. Personally, I do not trust the Telegram app given that the Russian government lifted it's ban on the app and I have read that Telegram is easier to crack the encryption given the way they have the encryption structured.

I do think the Russian engineers who developed the app know who to build an excellent app but were likely forced by the Russian government to make their encryption easier to crack given it was banned before the Russian government finally lifted the ban. I think the only reason why the Russian government lifted the ban is because they can read Telegram when they want to. It's easier for the Russian government to control Telegram given it is a "for profit" company whereas Signal is a non profit.

Signal is not widely used in Russia is my understanding. However, I think Signal is more secure than Telegram. If Signal were to ever be widely adopted in Russia then I suspect the Russian government would move to ban it given that Signal is non-profit and open source and built from the ground up with security and privacy in mind. It is in my professional opinion that though nothing is ever 100% secure, Signal is the more secure of the two apps and wins on privacy and security when compared to Telegram. Here is an article that discusses this:

Chris Hoffman from How To Geek wrote:Signal and Telegram both advertise themselves as private and secure. Neither is owned by a big tech company. Signal is owned by a non-profit organization, while Telegram is owned by a for-profit company.

Both Signal and Telegram are chat apps with all the standard features, from stickers to photo and file transfers to voice and video calls.

Signal and Telegram both offer apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Each is free, and a phone number is all you need to sign up for either. Both offer optional desktop apps so that you can chat on a Windows PC, Mac, or Linux system, giving you the option to chat on your computer with its full keyboard.

Signal is built from the ground up for privacy, and it shows. All conversations and other communications on Signal are end-to-end encrypted between devices running Signal. The company in charge of Signal, the Signal Foundation, couldn’t even see your messages if it wanted to.

Telegram offers optional end-to-end encryption. You have to start a “Secret Chat.” In Signal, everything is a secret chat—by default, and always. All Telegram messages are encrypted between you and the Telegram server, but the company in charge of Telegram could technically view your messages on its server if it liked—unless you start a “Secret Chat.”

Also, in Telegram, you can’t have a group “Secret Chat.” You can only get end-to-end encryption in conversations between two people. Unlike Telegram, Signal offers encrypted group chats.

All your Signal conversations are stored only on your device by default. In Telegram, they’re stored on Telegram’s servers and can be synchronized between your devices. (You can still use Signal between multiple devices and synchronize messages from one device to another. But you can’t just log into Signal on the web and find all your conversations right there.)

Signal is completely open-source—both the code for the Signal clients and the code for the Signal server can be found on GitHub. The code for Telegram’s apps is open-source, but Telegram’s server software is not open-source.

Some security researchers have argued that Signal’s encryption protocol is better and more bulletproof than Telegram’s MTProto encryption protocol, although this is a complicated and disputed topic.

he Signal app is developed by the Signal Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by donations. Telegram is run by a for-profit corporation and has wrestled with a variety of plans to make money, including an ill-fated cryptocurrency offering.

While Signal has the clear advantage when it comes to privacy, Telegram offers a variety of convenience features that Signal doesn’t have.

In Telegram, you can have up to 200,000 people in a group chat. In Signal, you can only have up to 1000 people. In Telegram, you can transfer files up to 2 GB in size. In Signal, you can only transfer files up to 100 MB in size.

Telegram offers cloud message synchronization—you can even sign into Telegram on the web and continue your conversations. That’s a tradeoff—unlike in Signal, where your conversations are all stored locally on your devices, the conversations are all stored on Telegram’s servers. (Unless you start a “Secret Chat.”)

Telegram lets you add bots to conversations, but this means that conversations you add bots to have less private encryption. Signal doesn’t have bots that can interact with conversations, ensuring privacy—but not giving you the option to use bots.

Overall, the Telegram app also has a shinier interface, with more available sticker packs, animated stickers, and customizable background images for your conversations. As of January 11, 2021, Signal is working on adding many of these features.

If you’re serious about maximum privacy for your communications, you should pick Signal. It’s built from the ground up to be as private as possible by default. It’s clear why (as of early January 2021) Signal is beating Telegram on the App Store charts.

If some of Telegram’s features appeal to you—for example, if you want bots, very large group chats, or transfers of larger files, that’s a good argument for using Telegram. Maybe you’re fine with storing all your conversations on a cloud server for convenience, but you just want to get away from Facebook—that’s a good argument for using Telegram.

Of course, which service you end up using depends on which service your friends, family, coworkers, and other people you want to talk to use. You might even end up using both to talk to different people. Feel free to give both a try.

Ultimately, either Signal or Telegram beats WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger when it comes to privacy. Neither app is linked to Facebook, as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are. Both Signal and WhatsApp are much more secure than SMS, which allows your cellular carrier to see every message you send.

Of course, both Signal and Telegram are changing over time and gaining new features. It’s worth doing your own research and playing with them to see which you prefer.

For privacy-focused users, the big difference is that everything is always end-to-end encrypted in Signal, whereas Telegram offers end-to-end encryption as an optional feature that you have to go out of your way to use.


https://www.howtogeek.com/709053/signal ... -chat-app/
Last edited by Politics_Observer on 03 Sep 2021 23:26, edited 1 time in total.
#15188555
I had to edit my above post as I intended to write that Signal is NOT widely used in Russia. Telegram IS widely used in Russia to my understanding. But I feel that Signal offers much better privacy and security than Telegram, some of the reasons given above.
#15188557
Telegram is better I think since the Durov didn't mind sticking it to Putin and co so it means he is not a sellout. The reason it got unbanned is because he hosted the servers on Amazon cloud so blocking Telegram requires you to block all of the Amazon cloud. Russia just gave up since they can't force Amazon to remove telegram from the Cloud.
#15188559
@JohnRawls

I have to disagree with you on the part where you say Telegram is better than Signal insofar as security and privacy is concerned. Here are a few other facts from a more authoritative source to back up my claim:

WhatsApp recently introduced an updated privacy policy, which mandates all users to share their data with its parent company Facebook. As per the ominous-sounding notification, users failing to accept the updated privacy policy will no longer be allowed to enjoy the services of the platform from February 8, 2021. In simpler words, they will be forced to uninstall the app if they fail to accept the policy changes.

Experts, including privacy pundits and governments, have raised concerns with WhatsApp’s stubbornness towards the new privacy policy.
WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram

It is a known fact that “one person’s loss is another person’s gain,” and this seems to be completely true in the current scenario. WhatsApp has nearly 200 million users that span across the globe. However, its latest move has forced most of them to rethink whether sharing data with Facebook is necessary. Confused and perplexed, users are seeking alternatives for WhatsApp. Given the number of options available on Android’s Google Play and Apple’s App Store, the competition is tough. But this race has two frontrunners fighting it out for the top spot: Signal and Telegram.

Let us have a look at the best possible alternatives for a secured messaging application.


The Winner: Experts Recommend Signal

Currently touted as the best WhatsApp alternative, Signal has been ordained by the experts for its polished security features. It is run by a non-profit led by Moxie Marlinspike, an American cryptographer and the current CEO of the company. The app was developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger, whose co-founder, Brian Acton, also happens to be the former WhatsApp co-founder.

Security Features

Developed by Marlinspike, Signal has end-to-end (e2e) encryption based on the Signal protocol. Thus, no third-party or even Signal’s developers can read its users’ messages.
It has an open-source protocol, which means there is transparency.
It does not support third-party backups like storing in Google Drive or iCloud storage. All data is stored locally on the device itself. Your chat history is lost if you lose and/or change your device.

You can make an app used by many millions of people that has no data…Cool chart by @forbes & @UKZak https://t.co/gWFqyIeoZ3 pic.twitter.com/Unngddaq5M

— Signal (@signalapp) January 5, 2021

Signal also supports other basic security features like screen lock, fingerprint unlock, and an incognito keyboard option that does not store your typed words in the auto-suggest.
Our Verdict

Signal has been recommended by privacy experts, known personalities like Elon Musk and, by well-known whistleblower Edward Snowden, mainly because of three reasons:

End-to-end encryption.
No third-party and cloud storage of backups.
Complete user privacy. As per the privacy header of Signal in the App store, it does not collect any user data.

Use Signal

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021

Telegram – An Older Yet Unique War Horse

Telegram is another app that has been around for quite some time now. Learning from WhatsApp’s mistakes, it has bettered itself over time and has slowly gained popularity providing certain features that even WhatsApp lacks. With Telegram, users can send large files up to 1.5GB, add up to 200,000 users in a single group, and so on.
Security Features

Telegram also has end-to-end (e2e) encryption, but it is available only for “Secret Chats” and all types of Calls (voice, video, and group).
Instead of e2e encryption, it has distributed cross-jurisdictional encrypted cloud storage, which the Telegram CEO, Pavel Durov says, “is much more protected.”
Chat Backups are synced only with Telegram Cloud.

Although it has a host of security features, there is a downside to Telegram. It collects users’ data, including name, phone number, contacts, and user ID. It is tagged under PII and could be a problem in case of a future breach.
Our Verdict

Telegram is popular among the masses mainly because of its ability to accommodate 200,000 users in a single group at a given time. Apart from that, it surprisingly provides e2e encryption for one-on-one and group video calls, which is a rarity. However, it does collect users’ PII, and thus, if you are ready for a trade-off in exchange for the additional feature that it provides, nothing like it.
Closing Notes

Amid the chaos surrounding the WhatsApp data privacy policy and data sharing with Facebook, the former has issued another notification on Twitter to clear the air.

We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption. pic.twitter.com/6qDnzQ98MP

— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 12, 2021

The issuance clearly states that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can “see your private messages or hear your calls,” but how true could this be? Would users be convinced? Will this be a start to the end of WhatsApp? Or will the tech giant pull through this crisis and emerge yet again? All we can do is sit back and wait; maybe better answers are waiting to be found. If not, then as experts suggested, we always have something to fall back on: Signal and Telegram.


https://cisomag.eccouncil.org/whatsapp- ... -telegram/

I strongly suspect that given Telegram is for profit and has a large user base in Russia, they are more susceptible to coercion by the Russian government and therefore, the Russian government likely lifted it's ban because they managed to eventually coerce the company into agreeing to either weaker encryption or handing over encryption keys so they can decrypt communications when they want to.

Now I could be wrong, but I find it unlikely that the Russian government simply "gave up." Plus, Telegram is not completely open source like Signal. The encryption of the servers with Telegram is closed source and propiertary. Who is to say that the Russian government might have a backdoor in that part of the code somewhere? Signal is COMPLETELY open source and open to inspection by computer professionals around the globe. So if there is a backdoor written in that code somewhere, it will be uncovered by peer reviews. Which, Signal is also peer reviewed.
#15188822
@JohnRawls

See, here is another thing. Threema would be awesome but it's NOT open source. To me, if the software isn't TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY open source, then that's a security risk right there because the code cannot be audited and verified as secure via peer review by computer professionals around the world. Threema's source code because it's not open source has not been peer reviewed by software and security professionals around the globe. Telegram is "mostly" open source, but NOT COMPLETELY. That's not good enough. Their are other issues I have with Telegram as well with how they do their encryption keys which makes them susceptible to being decrypted, especially by the Russian government. To me, the code needs to be COMPLETELY open source. Matrix isn't exactly an application but is instead a framework. Security professionals around the globe pick Signal as the "go to" app for security and privacy. But again, nothing is ever 100% secure. But my pick would be Signal for the most secure out of the bunch.
#15188825
@JohnRawls

It looks like I stand corrected on Threema. It appears that Threema completed a transition to open source software in 2020. Therefore it might be a better choice than Signal. Now that they have transitioned to open source I will have to give Threema more serious consideration.


"Late in 2020, Threema completed the transition of all their apps to Open Source. This means anyone who wishes can analyze their code and confirm for themself that the code is secure."


https://securitytech.org/secure-encrypt ... p/threema/

Edit:

Reading more into Threema one issue I see is metadata where some of this is stored on their servers but deleted. Signal doesn't keep near the metadata given it's sealed sender feature. Really, it's a toss up between Threema and Signal. US courts couldn't get hardly any metadata on Signal. I could see where a significant amount of metadata on Threema could be gotten before it gets deleted from their servers if they get deleted from servers. I still lean towards Signal.
#15189952
Here is the website to Threema secure messaging if anybody is interested in it. My top two picks for secure messaging apps is Signal and Threema. If had to pick my top app, I would go with Signal in my honest, fair and objective assessment though Threema also has some advantages that Signal doesn't, like having their servers in Switzerland for example and signing up anonymously. Their are pros and cons to both secure messaging apps and they are neck and neck. Here is there website: https://threema.ch/en .

I have all three apps on my smartphone (Telegram, Signal and Threema). You do have to make a small initial payment using Threema and it is open source with the exception of their servers. Where EVERYTHING is open source on Signal. And Signal has ways to keep metadata to an absolute minimum even though it links to your smart phone number. Sealed Sender feature of Signal helps to keep metadata to a minimum.

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