Telegram blocks 'terrorist-related' channels after Indonesia ban

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

In his announcement, he explained that officials at the Ministry of Communication and IT in Indonesia had emailed Telegram a list of public channels with terrorism-related content in Telegram but the list wasn't processed quickly enough.

The ministry said it has asked internet companies in Indonesia, which has the highest Muslim population in the world, to bar access of 11 addresses the web version of the platform is used in.

"Telegram is heavily encrypted and privacy-oriented, but we're no friends of terrorists", Mr Durov said on his Telegram channel, adding he was "upset" over Indonesia's ban.

Overall, this is great news for Indonesian Telegram users who will now no longer see the app get blocked and will hopefully see a decrease in terrorist-related content as well.

"We are forming a dedicated team of moderators with knowledge of Indonesian language and culture to be able to process reports of terrorist-related content more quickly and accurately", Durov wrote in his Telegram channel.

"We have never received any requests/complaints from the Indonesian government", Durov said on Twitter.

"Up to now only 50% (of radical content have been filtered out) by social media platform providers".

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The Malaysian government does not intend to restrict the use of instant messaging application Telegram for now, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Sunday (Jul 16).

As a result of the policy, people could not access the web-based Telegram, but still could use the Telegram app installed on mobile phones.

Founded in 2013 by Russian brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, the application is a free messaging service that can be used as a smartphone app and on computers through a web interface or desktop messenger.

He said Telegram had now blocked those channels and would act to respond to future requests from Indonesian officials.

"Monitoring by the ministry has so far found no criminal elements, recruitment or fund collection for terrorism activities in the application (Telegram)", he said after attending a Hari Raya open house event at Jakel Mall, here today. "We are trying to support their business but we also need their cooperation in addressing our concerns i.e.in addressing negative content", he said.

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