Telegram is one of the most popular chat applications in the world. Unlike WhatsApp, it allows you to have a user without being tied to a phone number: for this reason it is fertile ground for illegal activities, especially the buying and selling of drugs.
According to the report produced by Clarin documentscrimes have grown on Telegram a 350% more in the last two years.
From a tour of the capital districts such as Balvanera, to areas of the Province of Buenos Aires such as San Justo, buyers tell how the system works, contextualized by the testimonies of cyber security and drug trafficking experts.
Telegram thus acts as the epicenter of a series of illicit activities that not only end in drug dealing, but are also linked to piracy, illegal trafficking in prohibited goods and even the buying and selling personal data, such as credit cards.
Telegram, a pioneering messaging application
Telegram is a secure application and this is one of its main arguments against WhatsApp. And while this is old-fashioned (because Meta chat also comes with encryption), Telegram uses protocol-based encryption MTProto (mobile transport protocol). Depending on the app, this type of encryption securely protects conversations, more than the competition.
In fact, the user has a function that allows end-to-end encryption of messages. This is the “secret chat”. To send a message that no one else will be able to read, you need to open Telegram and search for the contact you want to talk to.
However, it is this type of encryption that criminals use to stay anonymous, along with the ability to not use a phone number and only one user: it is more difficult to track them down.
As noted in Clarin documentshowever, technology is also a difficulty for criminals: they themselves must evade the controls that can be made by the activity of these chats.
Telegram also saves a backup of the chats on its servers, something that Signalanother competitor does not do this to ensure 100% privacy.
If necessary, the Police could request those chats from the application, although according to prosecutors and legal experts, it is a difficult process.
Meanwhile, the drug continues to be bought and sold on Telegram just like any other e-commerce site.