and they use broken home rolled crypto..
The sad thing is that only cryptogeeks (cypherpunks?) care about that.
Telegram tends to just work if you expect same level of trust/privacy than say public IRC.
I find it kind of weird that they criticize telegram for using a license which forces you to publish the source code to derivative works. That’s extremely common in open source. It’s also weird how they don’t mention that telegram’s GitHub repo is often months behind the version available on app stores (the latest version is 3.18.1, the latest on Github is 3.18.0), and how their code isn’t developed in the open. Take their latest commit; a gigantic commit updating the source code to 3.18.0 with 165,980 additions and 93,700 deletions.
They have a dev branch, but that’s 40 commits and 2 years behind master. (Also, only 40 commits in 2 years? wow.)
I suppose it kind of makes sense considering the article is more about what’s wrong with open source Telegram as a base for making your own messaging application, but still.
It’s also not encrypted by default. You must enable “secret chats”.
There is essentially no reason to prefer Telegram over Signal. Signal is always encrypted all the time, both for individual and group chats. It also supports encrypted audio/video calls. It doesn’t use broken home-grown cryptography.
One reason (which does not outweigh Telegram’s fatal shortcomings): you can choose a username identifier instead of using your phone number. Signal’s exclusive use of phone numbers is a serious defect.
I could maybe agree with “exclusive’, depending on how it’s implemented. But I’ve found Signal’s use of phone numbers very useful for getting my non-tech-savvy friends and relatives to switch over. They don’t have to create any kind of new account or username, they just switch to a new SMS app, but now it’s secure, everything taken care of automatically. There’s no way I’d be messaging my parents over Signal if it didn’t use phone numbers as the identifier and I had to convince them to sign up for some new service.
I agree that Signal’s use of phone numbers is excellent for non-technical users, and did not suggest otherwise.