Having received more than 70 million new users after the fall of WhatsApp, Telegram has returned to the subject recently. The app has worried authorities and experts for hosting thousands of criminal content.
The subject was the subject of an article in the newspaper Or Balloon last Sunday (10). The article points out that, upon entering the Brazilian “underworld” of the application, it was possible to find free dissemination and conversations about child pornography, sexual abuse and the purchase and sale of weapons and drugs on the platform, for example.
According to the vehicle, the illegal materials are in secret groups, which can only be accessed by people who receive an access link. To try to outwit potential bots that recognize words associated with crimes, users use cryptic terms like “Nazi” with Gothic typography, CP (child pornography) and the word “vaccine” spelled backwards.
“Does anyone have an incest video there?” asked a user from one of the groups. “Yes, send me a PV (private message)”, replied another person. This was one of the dialogues caught by the report. In the middle of the conversation, several pornographic videos were sent, even with minors, reports the press vehicle.
Check out, below, some of the illicit materials that were being disseminated in the groups:
- videos of torture and executions;
- Illegal trade in arms, drugs and controlled medicines (abortives and black stripes);
- Sale of fake money;
- Nazism, Asemitism and Racism;
- False information about vaccines;
- Piracy of movies and series;
- Downloading personal data such as CPFs;
According to the report, the group with links to illegally downloading series and movies is the one with the largest audience, with more than 128,000 subscribers. Next appear channels for the dissemination of videos of executions and torture (24,400 subscribers); anti-Semitism, hate speech and conspiracy theories (21.7 thousand); arms trade (19,300) and download of personal data (18.7 thousand). Child pornography groups reach about 12,000 people.
The extensive network of dissemination of illicit and criminal materials poses a risk to society, according to experts interviewed by the Globe. Criminal lawyer Welington Arruda said that, despite the crimes committed, few people in Brazil respond to issues such as apology for Nazism, for example.
“Crimes that reach common sense, such as child pornography and others linked to violence, end up taking a greater proportion because they communicate easily with the average man, while large cases go against the law and the spotlight,” he argued.
Researchers Leonardo Nascimento and Paulo Fonseca, from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), and Letícia Cesarino, from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), claim that Telegram is a “deep web ready for delivery”.
They argue that features such as the secret group, self-destructing messages, anonymity and search engines make the app an excellent source of action for organized crime.
As if all the photos, videos and documents with criminal content were not enough, the software, which is present in more than half of cell phones in Brazil, also worries specialists for its ability to spread false news related to politics.
“The Telegram is an iceberg. What is on the surface is 10%, 15% of what actually exists in a protected form. After World War II, humanity created the UN to legislate on wars and human rights. We will also need a UN for digital platforms”, defended Leonardo Nascimento.