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Encrypted Chat App Telegram Says Attacked by China During Hong Kong Protest

The youthful protestors who took to the streets of Hong Kong this week to demonstrate against a proposed extradition law took measures to hide their identity, covering their faces with masks and turning to the app Telegram to encrypt their messages. That may have drawn somebody’s attention in China.

A massive cyber attack against the app coinciding with the protests appears to have originated in China, Telegram founder Pavel Durov said. In a Twitter post, Mr. Durov wrote “Historically, all state actor-sized DDoS (200-400 Gb/s of junk) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was not an exception.”

The demonstrators were protesting a law that would allow extraditions to mainland China. Hong Kong retained a largely independent legal system as part of the deal struck when the former British colony was handed back to Beijing more than two decades ago. But many here fear their freedoms are being eroded.

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