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Telegram’s Peer-to-Peer Login system is a risky way to save $5 a month

The Telegram logo on a black and red background
Please don’t sign up for this program. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Telegram is offering a new way to earn a premium subscription free of charge: all you have to do is volunteer your phone number to relay one-time passwords (OTP) to other users. This, in fact, sounds like an awful idea — particularly for a messaging service based around privacy.

X user @AssembleDebug spotted details about the new program on the English-language version of a popular Russian-language Telegram information channel. Sure enough, there’s a section in Telegram’s terms of service outlining the new “Peer-to-Peer Login” or P2PL program, which is currently only offered on Android and in certain (unspecified) locations. By opting in to the program, you agree to let Telegram use your phone number to send up to 150 texts with OTPs to…

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