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Indonesia Limits Telegram Messaging Service, Threatens To Ban App Over Security Concerns

17 July 2017, 12:46 | Darnell Patrick

Indonesia Limits Telegram Messaging Service, Threatens To Ban App Over Security Concerns

Indonesia restricts app over terrorism content

The Russian entrepreneur said Telegram responded to the ICT Ministry to set up a direct channel of communication to allow both sides to work "more efficiently on identifying and blocking terrorist propaganda in the future". As a partial measure, it asked internet companies to block access to 11 addresses offering the web version of Telegram.

Speaking during a visit to the Jakel shopping centre here, the home minister said his ministry and the police anti-terrorism unit had studied the matter but found there were no elements in Telegram to facilitate crimes such as those undertaken by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

Durov's pledge came after the Indonesian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology last Friday complained that militants were using Telegram as a recruiting tool and to spread information on how to carry out terrorist attacks.

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

Jakarta claimed Telegram had been used to promote radicalism and to give instructions for carrying out attacks.

It is now forming a team of moderators with knowledge of Indonesian language and culture to remove terrorist-related channels more quickly, he said.

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Experts fear the southern Philippines could become a new base for the ISIL, including Indonesian and Malaysian fighters returning from the Middle East, as an worldwide coalition retakes territory held by the ISIL, also known as ISIS, in Syria and Iraq.

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.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo said on Sunday that other social media platforms will not be affected by the government's decision on Telegram.

On Saturday, communications minister Rudiantara said that Telegram had not processed the government's requests to take down "radical" content quickly enough.

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian told reporters on Sunday that Telegram is a favored application for terrorists and terror sympathizers, due largely to the app's heavily encrypted system that can accommodate up to 10,000 members in individual channels, making it hard for authorities to detect any terrorism-related messaging. "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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