Indonesia blocks access to telegram over ‘terrorist propaganda’ concerns

Indonesia blocked access to web versions of the encrypted messaging service, Telegram, citing concerns the app is being used to spread “terrorist propaganda.”

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology issued a statement, confirming that it had asked internet companies to block access to eleven addresses that the web version is available through, RT reported.

The government is preparing for a total ban of the service if Telegram does not deal appropriately with unlawful content, Director General of Informatics Applications Semuel Pangerapan added.  

“This blocking must be done because the many channels in the service are propaganda of radicalism, terrorism, hatred, invitation or how to assemble bombs, how to attack, disturbing images, and others that are contrary to Indonesian laws and regulations.”

The statement added that the service, founded by Russian brothers Pavel and Nikolay Durov in 2013, was a threat to the security of the state as it does not offer ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ in the handling of terrorism cases.

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said on Twitter that he wasn’t aware of any complaints from the Indonesian government and would investigate the matter.  Indonesians also tweeted their opposition to the government’s move.

Durov said later on Sunday there was a “miscommunication” with Indonesian authorities, adding the messaging service will tackle terrorism-related content. “Telegram is heavily encrypted and privacy-oriented, but we’re no friends of terrorists,” Durov said on Telegram, adding he was “upset” over Indonesia’s decision to ban the app.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has seen a resurgence in attacks inspired by the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh.

A twin suicide bombing at a Jakarta bus station in May killed three police officers and wounded several others.  

Indonesia’s military chief has warned that Daesh cells are operating in every province of the country, noting the heightened threat to the country resulting from the ongoing Marawi crisis in the Philippines.  


EA

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