These days, it is almost impossible to hide from the authorities. The mobile networks are almost constantly being monitored as are emails and messaging services and if you want to give government’s the slip, it isn’t easy. So how does the Islamic State do it — do they go back to morse code or use the HAM radio?Turns out the IS have found an app called Telegram to break the deadlock. It’s “the new hot thing among jihadists,” Laith Alkhouri, director of Research at Flashpoint Global Partners told CNN .
You know the app means business when Telegram’s tagline itself is “Taking back our right to privacy” and it first became popular around 2013, when the NSA privacy issue was at its prime.
The app, which prides itself on its multi-data infrastructure and encryption, allows users can securely message friends and send pictures and files. They can also create group chats or opt for ” special secret chats ” where like Snapchat, messages, photos, and videos will self-destruct.
IS has been using Telegram to broadcast big messages on the app’s “channels,” which are devoted to a variety of topics. It was on the official ISIS channel that the group said the Paris attacks would be the “first of the storm.”
Using end-to-end encryption, Telegram has tried to ensure your messages remain between you and your contact alone.
When you exchange messages this way, Telegram assures that nothing gets logged onto its servers. You can program your messages and attachments to self destruct in seconds, days or weeks, from both ends. Essentially this will leave no trace of the message ever having existed.
ISIS also used Telegram to claim responsibility for downing a Russian airplane on October 31.
“A lot of people are now seeing Telegram advertised on ISIS supporter Twitter accounts,” said Alkhouri. He said the official ISIS channel distributes between 10 and 20 ISIS statements and videos a day.