Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks of Telegram’s Proposed Privacy Features
In the midst of an unfavorable political climate in Hong Kong, Telegram, which has been used to organize protests in the region, will launch more privacy-enhancing features on its platform, as reported by South China Morning Post, September 4, 2019. Even though Carrie Lam has announced the withdrawal of the extradition bill, this was only one of the reasons for the protests and they are expected to continue.
Human Liberty and Opposing Authority
In times of protest and public unrest, authorities always try to silence the rebels – whether that be physically or verbally. Hong Kong has been at the pinnacle of media headlines due to mass public dissent for a multitude of reasons.
Telegram has decided to further aid their fellow humans and promote individual liberties by strengthening privacy on their platform to allow people to have one popular platform (other than Signal) that advocates for privacy and the freedom to organize.
Today, one can find a Telegram user by inputting their phone number to the search bar. This ‘bug’ has led to many protestors in Hong Kong being apprehended by authorities. Telegram has announced their intent to integrate a feature whereby users can choose to hide from this search, rendering them invisible to the rest of the world.
First-time installations in the region grew from 26,000 a month to a whopping 110,000 a month in August. The Hong Kong protests and the inhuman countermeasures taken by their armed forces are a testament to the need for privacy.
Hong Kong, alongside Argentina and Venezuela, form the front lines of the cryptocurrency revolution and the need for decentralized money.
Drawbacks of Telegram and GRAM
The benefits of privacy over Telegram are evident from the Hong Kong protests, but there are a number of drawbacks that are not on the center stage; for example, the utilization of Telegram by terrorist organizations who use the app to communicate and coordinate attacks.
Mass devastation to the planet and human life are a direct byproduct of this. Adding GRAM to the mix, these organizations can now fund each and transfer value from one remote part of the world to anywhere else.
This is a serious concern for everyone, and the risks may just outweigh the benefits. Private communication is one thing and allowing shielded transactions between organizations that target mass annihilation is another.
Once again, this all hinges on the privacy aspects of the GRAM token. If there is some way to tie online identity to these transactions, GRAM will essentially become an unregulated version of Libra.