Telegram removes terrorism-related forums in Indonesia

Scandals around end-to-end encryption and messaging service Telegram have only just begun. After Russia threatened to block the service, it is now Indonesia’s turn to take action.

Claiming terrorists use the platform for recruitment and communication, on Friday the Indonesian government blocked access to the platform “full of radical and terrorist propaganda,” writes Reuters. For extra security, internet providers were asked to block 11 IPs that facilitated access to the web version. The decision will not affect other social networks.

Blaming miscommunication for not solving the matter earlier, Telegram founder Pavel Durov has stated that the “terrorist-related” public channels will be shut down.

“Telegram is heavily encrypted and privacy-oriented, but we’re no friends of terrorists,” Durov said on Telegram on Sunday.

“We are forming a dedicated team of moderators with knowledge of Indonesian culture and language to be able to process reports of terrorist-related content more quickly and accurately.”

Indonesia, a secular state with the world’s largest Muslim population, has reported a distressing comeback of domestic radicalism.

“We are trying to support their business but we also need their cooperation in addressing our concerns i.e. in addressing negative content,” Communications Minister Rudiantara told Reuters.

This is not the first time Telegram has been associated with sympathizers of Islamic State. In the past, Russian authorities accused Telegram of violating local legislation and directly linked the platform to attacks, a situation similar to that taking place in the UK concerning WhatsApp.

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