Menu
'Russian Facebook' CEO Durov disses Zuckerberg, but loves Edward Snowden

'Russian Facebook' CEO Durov disses Zuckerberg, but loves Edward Snowden

The Russian social media exec speaks out on Facebook and privacy

VK CEO Pavel Durov sits down with TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis at GMIC in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2013.

VK CEO Pavel Durov sits down with TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis at GMIC in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2013.

Pavel Durov, the CEO of the Russian social networking site VK, does not think very highly of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Edward Snowden instead is his personal hero.

"Mark underestimates VK," Durov said Tuesday, addressing dismissive remarks Zuckerberg previously made about VK. "He doesn't use it very much," Durov said.

"VK is faster, easier to use, and has more functionality," he said.

VK is a giant site in Russia -- offering many features similar to Facebook -- and is regarded as the second-largest social network in Europe after Facebook. Durov made his comments at the GMIC mobile Internet conference in San Francisco, an event that drew multiple thousands of attendees from across the world.

The Russian social networking site gained some attention this past summer for offering a job to Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor responsible for numerous leaks concerning government surveillance programs such as Prism. Russia has given asylum to Snowden, who is evading capture by U.S. authorities.

At GMIC, Durov spoke out on the issue of privacy, and why it's important that more companies, like Facebook, think harder about strategies like encryption and keeping their users' data safe.

In this area, VK has been developing its Telegram messaging service, which it claims is more secure than rival WhatsApp's messaging, partly because it offers end-to-end encryption and also self-destructing messages.

During a discussion with TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsisv, Durov called Snowden a personal hero for helping to bring more attention to privacy.

"He's had to sacrifice a big part of his life to let us know that we're being spied on," Durov said.

Some conservative or patriotic Americans may see Snowden as a traitor, Durov said. But Durov pointed out that he knows what it feels like to be spied on.

Durov was at the center of an alleged hit and run incident earlier this year and is no stranger to government investigations. "I'm not happy that my rights were violated without me knowing it," he said Tuesday.

When asked about whether Zuckerberg should incorporate more encryption into Facebook, Durov said that would be great, "but he might have other priorities."

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesinstant messagingsocial networkingmobilesocial mediaVKinternetFacebookmobile applications

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments