By Pavel Shipilin
Yesterday the Telegram stopped working. I didn’t pay much attention to this, because I do not use it very actively – LJ is enough. But, it turns out, the glitch was noticed by users around the world. And many newspapers wrote about that. Perhaps the disconnection of the messenger for some time saved a few lives.
The special services found out that the former French citizen, 29-year-old Rashid Kassim, is located in the territory controlled by ISIS. It was he who coordinated the actions of the terrorists implicated in three terrorist attacks in France.
It is well known that Pavel Durov (Founder of the Vkontakte) refuses to cooperate with the special services. “No one government or special service in the world has received a bit of information from us. It will always be so,” announces created by him Telegram. In my opinion, this statement looks like a guarantee to the Islamists not to disclose their bloody intentions.
The special services themselves do not believe that this situation will last forever. And not only ours, although our authorities have traditionally been accused of trying to look under the blanket to honest people and see what they are doing there. The bill On information, information technology and information protection, according to which anonymity in messengers will be banned and mandatory identification of the user is introduced by the operator of communications, has already been called an attack on freedom of speech.
As usual, the equality between democratic conquests and elementary standards of security is put. I have no doubt that if in Europe recently there have been no regular terrorist attacks with dozens of victims, Russia would already have been accused of violating human rights in connection with this bill.
But today the collective West itself became frightened. Therefore, no outrageous yells yet seem to be heard about the Russian bill, which prohibits anonymity in messengers.
Rather, on the contrary. Patrick Calvar, Director General of the French Internal Intelligence Service, claims that Telegram is the main platform for communication of terrorists around the world. The desire of the French to persuade Pavel Durov to cooperate is understandable. Telegram, thanks to the stubbornness of the owner, has become the main means of communication in ISIS. Through this messenger new terrorists are recruited and the actions of the trained jihahids in different countries are coordinated.
Speaking at the World Antiterrorist Congress in London, the director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, noted that the world’s largest Internet service providers are helping the intelligence services and carefully monitoring any extremist content. “But there are those who do not cooperate with us. For example, the Telegram messenger, which creates big problems for us,” the police official said. Although the messenger of Pavel Durov goes to contact, his contribution to the antiterrorist struggle is minimal, unlike Facebook, Twitter and other companies, he said.
Fortunately, Russia, which tries to protect itself from terrorists, is not alone. The government of Great Britain plans to issue a decree that will oblige messengers such as Telegram and WhatsApp to make holes in the encryption of electronic correspondence. The Daily Mirror published an excerpt from the document: the companies will be required to “provide the opportunity to disclose, where necessary, the content of the correspondence in a legible form, as well as to take electronic protection or allow the competent person to do so.”
Professional recruiter Rashid Kassim became known to the general public in late July last year, appearing in the video of ISIS, glorifying the terrorist attack in Nice on the Day of the Bastille. I remind you, the truck rammed 86 people. In the video, Kassim bursts into an angry tirade against France, after which he cuts off the head of the prisoner.
He held communication with his wards, mainly with the help of Telegram. Not afraid to expose neither himself, nor the jihadists he raised.
Pavel Durov once said that he does not feel guilty because his messenger is used by terrorists before killing people. And I think, still feels. Although he finds a lot of excuses for himself.