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      Telegram Block Averted For Now But Escalating Threat is Far From Over

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Friday, 29 March - 11:31 · 5 minutes

    blocked For almost a quarter of a century a subset of internet activists have equated certain types of piracy mitigation measures to censorship and attacks on free speech.

    A sampling of opinions on this controversial topic would likely place sentiments like these at the edge of a spectrum, acting as a perfect counterbalance to equally extreme positions adopted by a subset of particularly aggressive rightsholders.

    An order to block Telegram in its entirety, handed down last week by a court in Spain, gave the latter group the kind of victory dreams are made of in the anti-piracy world. It also poured credibility on the predictions of ‘extremist’ internet activists who have been warning about this type of mission creep for over 20 years.

    Blocking Order Suggested No Conflict

    The order handed down by Judge Pedraz appeared in public last weekend and despite its gravity, contains no sign that the Judge felt conflicted by the matter at hand.

    Anti-piracy group EGEDA, Mediaset España, Atresmedia, and Movistar Plus, filed a request for the whole of Telegram to be blocked across the whole of Spain, because information requested from Telegram to support a piracy investigation hadn’t been provided.

    The Judge responded by metaphorically ticking the boxes marked ‘necessary’ and ‘proportional’, regardless of the eight million non-infringing Spanish users of Telegram set to be negatively affected.

    The notion that the rightsholders somehow misunderstood the nature of Telegram and had failed to comprehend the chaos their request would cause, can be reasonably ruled out. That leaves a pair of unpalatable scenarios to support the Judge’s decision to grant the blocking order: a) no knowledge of the platform and therefore no basis to consider the consequences, or b) full comprehension and a decision to block anyway, regardless of the outcome.

    Judge’s Statement Justifies Blocking

    The Judge’s comments when suspending the blocking order, via a notice published on March 25, showed that the nature of the platform had been fully understood and the interests of rightsholders had simply taken precedence.

    Subsequent comments on the suspension of the blocking measures indicate that the referral to the General Commissioner of Information, to assess what effect blocking might have on millions of Spanish users, was never part of the plan.

    The statement begins fairly defiantly; continued infringement on Telegram justified the adoption of precautionary measures and due to the lack of cooperation from the Virgin Islands’ authorities where Telegram is based, blocking the entire platform was the only possible measure that could stop further infringement.

    The measure was considered proportional to the seriousness of the conduct, it was deemed necessary, and importantly, completely legal.

    But Was it Really Proportional?

    After the existence of the blocking order was published “in all types of media” the statement concedes that there could be a “possible impact on multiple users.” That raised the question of whether it really was proportional, and that’s why the General Commissioner was asked to take a look.

    At that point, a few signs of how Telegram is viewed bubble to the surface, including suggestions that privacy on Telegram comes at a price.

    “Well, the truth is that, without prejudice to the fact that it is known that this platform is also used for criminal activities, there are more than multiple users of all kinds (individuals, companies, civil servants, workers in general, …) who have chosen to use Telegram, providing them with ‘benefits’ that other platforms do not give. And all this under a ‘protected privacy’,” the statement continues.

    “It also means that they accept that the necessary guarantees for the protection of the rights of third parties are not carried out with the exchange of personal data of users of the application. In short, cession of fundamental rights in exchange for supposed privacy.”

    In summary, blocking Telegram would be “clearly detrimental” to the millions of users who use it, including having no access to a multitude of data uploaded to Telegram to which they no longer have access.

    Not Proportional and Not Likely to Be Effective Either

    Before agreeing that suspending the blocking order was the right thing to do, the statement notes that this is only about blocking the entire platform and whether that would’ve been a balanced response.

    “It is not a question of freedom of expression or information, but whether or not the measure is proportional. And what is found, from what has been said and after issuing the order, is that the measure would be excessive and not proportional,” the statement adds. And then something unexpected.

    “In addition, even the measure itself would be unsuitable because users could use a VPN network or a proxy to access Telegram and continue consuming or publishing such content, as pointed out by the General Information Commissioner.”

    Similar arguments have been presented in opposition to website blocking orders all around Europe, but we’re unaware of any country that has rejected a blocking injunction on the basis that it would be ineffective.

    Pressure Likely to Increase On Telegram

    While the statement amounts to a short-term defeat for the rightsholders, who seem to have requested too much, too soon, their request signals where this battle of interests seems to be headed. That a Judge was in total agreement until the matter became a national controversy should be a wake-up call for the entire country.

    This is fundamentally a dispute between the rightsholders and a handful of still-unidentified pirates on Telegram, who have barely been mentioned throughout this entire controversy. Instead, the focus is now on Telegram and there are clear signs that one way or another, it will be made to pay a price.

    “[This] is about investigating a case for a certain crime that requires an investigation and that requires information that can only be provided by [Telegram]. As it happens with others, which do provide it,” the statement adds.

    “[A]s far as we are concerned here, to be able to obtain that information will be a matter to be resolved by the legislator, which will undoubtedly do so – as required by European law – in accordance with the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act.”

    The statement is available here (pdf, Spanish)

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Judge Blocks 8M Telegram Users After Platform Failed to Help Identify Pirates (Updated)

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Monday, 25 March - 13:31 · 9 minutes

    telegram -2-2024 Sports leagues and their broadcasting partners across Europe believe that their piracy problems begin with the existence of illicit suppliers.

    It follows that if those illicit suppliers can be prevented from reaching their subscribers, reasons for buying TV packages from the black market will be mostly eliminated and legal subscription sales will ensue.

    As the legal owners of the rights in question, these corporate giants have the luxury to frame the issue however they choose. However, when the war on piracy begins to take a toll on those not even remotely involved, it raises the question of who has the authority to step in and where the threshold for intervention lies.

    On Friday, a judge handling a copyright case concluded that since messaging platform Telegram had failed to help rightsholders identify the operators of certain Telegram channels, something needed to be done. Insisting that there was no other option available, the judge issued an order for Telegram to be blocked by ISPs throughout Spain.

    The judge described the measure as “necessary” and “proportional” and in a few hours’ time, if not already, around eight million users of Telegram in Spain will have a chance to chime in with their opinions, but not via Telegram, obviously.

    Update: March 25, 2024 : Amid a huge backlash in Spain, including criticism of the decision and the government by opposition parties, the blocking order has been suspended. See update below.

    Media Giants Want to Unmask Telegram Channel Operators

    Existence of the order and some general details were revealed by Telecinco on Friday.

    The publication reported that as part of a copyright complaint previously filed by anti-piracy group EGEDA, Mediaset España, Atresmedia, and Movistar Plus, the rightsholders had demanded information from Telegram that could help them identify the operators of piracy-linked Telegram channels.

    Despite the involvement of the court, Telegram failed to respond; Judge Pedraz concluded that since the investigation would now take more time, in the interim Telegram would have to be blocked by ISPs throughout Spain.

    Telegram has previously been blocked by Iran, China, and Pakistan, among others, but the addition of Spain came as a surprise. Expecting to find considerable unreported nuance, TorrentFreak tracked down the order; issued by Juzgado Central de Instrucción Número 5 and dated March 22, 2024, it begins with a section marked “Factual Background.”

    Case Background as Reported in the Order

    The order describes the present proceedings in connection with the “continued infringement of intellectual property rights,” carried out by “owners of various channels created on the Telegram social network,” and an ongoing investigation involving the prosecutor’s office.

    In a report dated March 8, 2024, the prosecutor’s office requested a six-month extension of the investigation period. This followed an EGEDA request and a writ filed on behalf of rightsholders Telefónica Audiovisual Digital (TAD), Movistar+, and Movistar Plus+.

    After detailing the rules concerning investigations and time limits, the Judge notes in the absence of an extension, the current investigation is set to expire on March 29, 2024, having run for the maximum 12 months allowed under Article 324.1 LECrim .

    Request for Judicial Assistance

    The order then turns to the corporate entity operated by Telegram in the British Virgin Islands and the letters rogatory (letters of request) sent by the Spanish court to the Virgin Islands seeking judicial assistance.

    “For the successful completion of the investigation, it is necessary to carry out the proceedings contained in the rogatory commission sent to the Virgin Islands, but so far there has been no news of compliance with the aforementioned instrument of cooperation,” the order reads.

    “Numerous diligence of investigation will be pending depending on the information that will be provided by the execution of the above-mentioned international rogatory commission. Therefore, the period of investigation should be extended for six months in order to carry out the pending proceedings.”

    Information Required For a Private Criminal Prosecution

    The order reveals that non-compliance with the international rogatory commission sent by the Judge to the Virgin Islands on July 28, 2023, has effectively brought the investigation to a halt. The information sought by Judge Pedraz is required to support a private criminal prosecution brought by the media companies, not the state.

    Private prosecutions in criminal cases are favored by sports rightsholders in the UK; as the alleged victim, rightsholders conduct their own investigations, harvest their own evidence, then act as the prosecution in the same case. There are no restrictions on the amount of legal firepower they’re permitted to deploy, meaning that in most cases defendants face the best lawyers money can buy.

    Lack of Cooperation from Virgin Islands

    Whether this aspect of the request is known to Telegram isn’t clear from the order. Indeed, the order makes no comment on whether Virgin Islands authorities even passed on the request, raising the question of what Telegram knows, or even if it knows anything at all.

    “Telegram was requested to inform about certain technical data that would allow the identification of the holders of the accounts used for the infringement of the intellectual property rights of the entities appearing as Private Prosecutor. The lack of collaboration of the authorities of the Virgin Islands, who are only requested to communicate with the managers of the social network TELEGRAM, leads to the adoption of the precautionary measures requested by the private prosecutors,” the order reads.

    “This repeated commission of the crime against intellectual property rights justifies the adoption of the requested precautionary measures, since the principles of necessity, suitability, and proportionality are met. The requested precautionary measures are the only possible measures in view of the lack of collaboration of the Virgin Islands authorities. There is no other type of measure that could stop the reiteration of the facts denounced.”

    From this statement it’s clear that the rightsholders requested a complete block of Telegram in Spain and the Judge considered that a reasonable request.

    Blocking Millions of Telegram Users is Acceptable

    “The measure is suitable because its execution could put an end to the infringement of intellectual property rights denounced to prevent access through the TELEGRAM network to the contents of the aforementioned rights. The measure is proportional to the seriousness of the conduct denounced and in this analysis is related to the necessity of the measure,” the order continues, with the legal justification (translated from Spanish) as presented below.

    The ISPs instructed to carry out the blocks within three hours of receiving the order are: Vodafone España, Orange Espagne, Orange España Virtual, MASMOVIL IBERCOM, Digi Spain Telecom, Telefónica España, Telefónica Móviles España, AVATEL TELECOM, ADAMO TELECOM IBERIA, AIRE NETWORKS DEL MEDITERRÁNEO, and PROCONO .

    The Telegram assets to be blocked are: Telegram Web (https://web.telegram.org/k/), Telegram Messenger (https://telegram.org/), and Telegram Apps for Android and iOS. It appears the rightsholders were well-prepared since they mandate the following:

    Apps: disable and block the connection [IP addresses, protocols, ports and any other connection element], to suspend the operation of the ‘Telegram’ application (app) of the connections from Smartphone and/or Tablet of the Operators’ users who have the “Telegram” “app” installed on their devices, operated from any operating system (Android, iOs).

    Blocking Telegram or Denying Access to Non-Infringing Users

    Judge Pedraz frames these measures as the blocking of Telegram but the mechanism chosen clearly shows that Telegram can still reach Spanish ISPs but the blocks they’re required to put in place prevent Telegram users from accessing the platform. That’s especially the case in respect of the apps where interference is directed towards functionality of apps on users’ devices.

    While some may dismiss this as semantics on the basis that blocking pirate sites operates similarly, Telegram is not a pirate site and most Spanish users of Telegram are not pirates.

    Whereas it might be reasonable to assert that most Spanish visitors to The Pirate Bay do so to infringe and therefore have no legal basis to visit the site, most visitors to Telegram do not visit the platform to infringe. Even of those that do, only a tiny minority will visit the channels in question. Nevertheless, millions of innocent Telegram users will soon be prevented from going about their entirely legal business.

    That raises the fundamental question of the nature of the scales used to weigh the competing interests in this case and, more fundamentally, who is actually being punished here; Telegram as claimed, or non-infringing Spanish users?

    Three Days to Appeal, Including Weekend

    “An appeal for reform may be filed against this order, within a period of three days, before this Central Preliminary Examining Court, and/or, if applicable, an appeal, in a single effect, before the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court,” the order concludes.

    As far as we’re aware there’s no recent news to indicate an appeal. These types of cases have traditionally seen ISPs step in but since the major ISPs in Spain are either rightsholders in their own right or have a commercial interest in blocking going ahead, an appeal from that direction seems unlikely.

    We’re currently unaware of any comment from Telegram but given the scale of the response versus the problem to be solved, this matter is likely to attract international attention and scrutiny. Common wisdom suggests that when an adversary is making a mistake, he should be allowed to do so without being interrupted, so we may hear from Telegram in due course.

    Update: March 25, 2024 : Amid a huge backlash in Spain, including criticism of the decision and the government by opposition parties, the blocking order has been suspended. National Court Judge Santiago Pedraz has requested a report from the General Information Commissioner’s Office (Comisaría General de Información) to provide data on the characteristics of Telegram and an assessment of the impact the measure could have if implemented.

    A statement from the Podomos party criticized the government for failing to act in the face of “genuine censorship” at the hands of the “oligopoly of complainant communication companies” whose interests are “taking precedence” over the “freedoms of many citizens.”

    Update: Official statement from the communications office of the National Court (translated from Spanish)

    The judge of the National Court Santiago Pedraz issued an order this Monday in which he agreed, prior to the temporary suspension of the resources associated with Telegram, to request a report from the General Information Commissioner’s Office on the Telegram platform. The magistrate requests information about its characteristics as well as the impact that the temporary suspension, that he agreed to in an order last Friday and whose execution remains suspended, may have on users.

    In the aforementioned order, the magistrate ordered the telecommunications and Internet access operators to temporarily suspend Telegram in the framework of a procedure against the owners of various channels created on the social network, for continued violations of intellectual property rights.

    In his resolution, Pedraz explained that the measure has legal support contemplated in article 13.2 of the LECrim: “In the investigation of crimes committed through the internet, telephone or any other information or communication technology, the court may agree, as first steps, ex officio or at the request of a party, precautionary measures consisting of the provisional removal of illicit content, the provisional interruption of the services offered by said content, or the provisional blocking of both when they are located in a foreign country.”

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Vous quittez WhatsApp pour Telegram ? Attention si vous migrez vos conversations

      Julien Lausson · news.movim.eu / Numerama · Friday, 29 January, 2021 - 18:13

    Telegram

    Avec Telegram, il est possible de récupérer l'historique de conversation WhatsApp pour faciliter la migration des contacts. Mais ce transfert a des répercussions qu'il ne faut pas ignorer sur la sécurité et la confidentialité des messages. [Lire la suite]

    Abonnez-vous à notre chaîne YouTube pour ne manquer aucune vidéo !

    L'article Vous quittez WhatsApp pour Telegram ? Attention si vous migrez vos conversations est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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      Telegram 7.4 makes it easy to migrate your WhatsApp chat history for iOS users

      news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 28 January, 2021 - 07:07

    Of course some of us have already deleted our WhatsApp accounts, but I did actually backup a few of my chats, so I'll be trying this out when it gets to Android.

    Even if you are an iOS user who has deleted your WhatsApp account, this will still work for any chats that you did export.

    See https://www.xda-developers.com/telegram-7-4-makes-easy-migrate-whatsapp-chat-history

    #technology #telegram #deletewhatsapp

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      Telegram feature exposes your precise address to hackers

      Dan Goodin · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 January, 2021 - 21:40 · 1 minute

    Telegram feature exposes your precise address to hackers

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images )

    If you’re using an Android device—or in some cases an iPhone—the Telegram messenger makes it easy for hackers to find your precise location when you enable a feature that allows users who are geographically close to you. The researcher who discovered the disclosure vulnerability and privately reported it to Telegram developers said he has expressed no plans to fix it.

    The problem stems from a feature called People Nearby. By default, it’s turned off. When users enable it, their geographic distance is shown to other people who have it turned on and are in (or are spoofing) the same geographic region. When People Nearby is used as designed, it’s a useful feature with few if any privacy concerns. After all, a notification that someone is 1 kilometer or 600 meters away still leaves stalkers guessing where, precisely, you are.

    Stalking made simple

    Independent researcher Ahmed Hassan , however, has shown how the feature can be abused to divulge exactly where you are. Using readily available software and a rooted Android device, he’s able to spoof the location his device reports to Telegram servers. By using just three different locations and measuring the corresponding distance reported by People Nearby, he’s able to pinpoint a user’s precise location.

    Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

    index?i=jDFOISTvrwo:mAtmJkXHuoY:V_sGLiPBpWUindex?i=jDFOISTvrwo:mAtmJkXHuoY:F7zBnMyn0Loindex?d=qj6IDK7rITsindex?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
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      Telegram connaît une panne en Europe

      François Manens · news.movim.eu / Numerama · Wednesday, 16 December, 2020 - 14:55

    Telegram

    Telegram n'a plus fonctionné correctement pour certains utilisateurs européens entre 14h30 et 15h30, avant que les équipes de l'entreprise parviennent à rétablir le service. [Lire la suite]

    Abonnez-vous à notre chaîne YouTube pour ne manquer aucune vidéo !

    L'article Telegram connaît une panne en Europe est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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      Reply to chat messages, a new Movim feature coming soon!

      Timothée Jaussoin · pubsub.movim.eu / Movim · Sunday, 1 November, 2020 - 15:02 edit

    A new useful #feature has been merged into Movim today. It will also be part of the upcoming 0.19 #release.

    This change relies on the standard XEP-0201: Best Practices for Message Threads and allows you to #reply to a chat message using any XMPP account using Movim.

    You could already find such feature on other chat platforms like #Telegram or #WhatsApp, the flow is also quite similar: on supported messages, click on the reply button and a little preview will appear next to the chat box input, fill in your message, publish, et voilà !

    You can also navigate to the original message by clicking on the little preview (if this message is currently shown in the conversation).

    Reply to chat messages feature

    Enjoy :)

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      Chat picture resolver and Telegram stickers

      Timothée Jaussoin · pubsub.movim.eu / Movim · Friday, 15 May, 2020 - 07:50 edit · 3 minutes

    Movim 0.18 is planned to be released soon.

    In the meantime, let's have a look at one specific feature that is really useful when you integrate Movim with the Spectrum2 - Telegram bridge.

    For those that are not aware, XMPP can connect to other chat networks using tools called "transport". One of the most used is called Spectrum2 and can connect to many other networks thanks to its libpurple support.

    Telegram transport setup

    What will we do here is:

    • Setup telegram-purple in Spectrum2 on Debian
    • Connect it to a XMPP server (here ejabberd)
    • Adapt the transport to integrate with Movim

    Setup Spectrum2 and telegram-purple

    Here I will not detail the basic installation, the official Spectrum2 documentation is pretty complete.

    Once the repository is setup, please install the base package and the libpurple module:

    apt install spectrum2 spectrum2-backend-libpurple
    

    For telegram-purple the README is also quite complete

    Create a Telegram transport

    Once all the packages are setup, we will create a transport configuration file. You can reuse the spectrum.cfg.example located in the /etc/spectrum2/transports/ as a base.

    # nano /etc/spectrum2/transports/spectrum_telegram.cfg
    

    This is basically the config file that I used for my own telegram.movim.eu transport:

    [service]
    server_mode = 0
    user=spectrum
    
    jid = telegram.movim.eu
    password = spectrumpassword
    server = 127.0.0.1
    port = 5347
    backend_host = 127.0.0.1
    
    users_per_backend=10
    
    backend=/usr/bin/spectrum2_libpurple_backend
    protocol=prpl-telegram
    
    web_directory=/home/movim/upload/spectrum
    web_url=https://upload.movim.eu/spectrum
    
    [identity]
    name=Telegram Transport
    type=telegram
    
    [logging]
    config = /etc/spectrum2/logging.cfg
    backend_config = /etc/spectrum2/backend-logging.cfg
    
    [database]
    type = sqlite3
    
    [registration]
    enable_public_registration=1
    

    When Spectrum2 will connect to the Telegram network, the stickers will be downloaded as files on the server. By default an ugly path is simply sent to the XMPP clients. We will turn it to a proper URL and let Movim to its magic.

    To do that we need to configure the Web Storage module. You can also find more documentation about it there.

    web_directory=/home/movim/upload/spectrum
    web_url=https://upload.movim.eu/spectrum
    

    It's pretty self explanatory. The downloaded stickers will be put in the web_directory directory. The second parameter, web_url, is basically telling Spectrum2 how to general its URL before sending them in the messages.

    Configure ejabberd

    Then we need to add a new service in our ejabberd.yml configuration file.

      -
        port: 5347
        module: ejabberd_service
        access: all
        ip: "127.0.0.1"
        global_routes: false
        hosts:
          "telegram.movim.eu":
            password: "spectrumpassword"
    

    Once everything is setup, restart Spectrum2 and ejabberd. For Spectrum2 you can do it using spectrum2_manager or a dedicated systemd configuration file.

    Configure our web server

    We then need to expose those files to the web. A simple nginx configuration will handle it.

    server {
        server_name upload.movim.eu;
    
        listen 443 ssl http2;
        listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
    
        …
    
        root /home/movim/upload;
    
        location /spectrum {
            alias /home/movim/movim/spectrum;
        }
    }
    

    Fix the nasty file rights with Incron

    If you start to use your Telegram transport at this point you'll notice that the stickers URLs are returning a 403 Forbidden error.

    Indeed, Spectrum2 is writting the files in the directory using it's own rights. And this can't be configured.

    We will then use another useful tool called Incron. This tool works like CRON but instead of working on time events, it works on file events.

    You can find a pretty complete documentation there.

    apt install incron 
    nano /etc/incron.allow # add your spectrum user there
    sudo -su spectrum
    incrontab -e
    

    In the incrontab file well then change dynamicaly the rights of the files once they are wrote in the directory (check the documentation for more details).

    /home/movim/upload/spectrum   IN_CLOSE_WRITE          chmod 664 $@/$#
    

    Enjoy your nice Telegram stickers in Movim

    In Movim, nothing more to do. With the version 0.18, Movim will try to resolve the incoming messages that contains a URL and see if it's a valid picture. Which is the case for Telegram stickers.

    Telegram stickers displayed in the Movim chat

    You can also note that it works for any other incoming picture URL, including those sent using Conversations or other XMPP clients.

    That's all folks!

    #telegram #xmpp #movim #transport #stickers #ejabberd #admin