Telegram owners act to curb terrorist chat after Indonesian complaint

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology had asked internet service providers to block access to several of Telegram’s services on Friday.

Indonesians are among of the world’s biggest users of social media.

While Indonesian IS militant Bahrun Naim, has been known to use Telegram to contact Indonesians from Syria, Ms Nuraniyah said the majority of people linked to extremist groups used the application for gossip rather than terrorist plots.

Durov, however, said he was “unaware” of requests made by the country earlier for it to remove the channels, calling it a “miscommunication”.

The communications ministry said in a statement that “so many channels in the (Telegram) service contain radicalism and terrorism. encouragement and tips to assemble bombs or launch attacks” that it needed to block it.

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.

He said Telegram did not have a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the handling of contents related to terrorism.

On July 14, Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and IT blocked Telegram’s web version and threatened to stop access to its app as well, reports the BBC.

The 11 blocked Telegram domain name systems (DNS) are t.me, telegram.me, telegram.org, core.telegram.org, desktop.telegram.org, macos.telegram.org, web.telegram.org, venus.web.telegram.org, pluto.web.telegram.org, flora.web.telegram.org and flora-1.web.telegram.org, according to the Jakarta Post.

The Berlin-based app uses two layers of encryption, and claims to be faster and more secure than other messaging services.

The government has so far bocked only access to the app via computer, but is preparing to impose a full ban.

Indonesia said it will block the app if it continues to be a platform for radical propaganda and violent militants.

Indonesian regulators had emailed Telegram a list of public channels with terrorism-related content, he said, but his team had been “unable to quickly process” the requests to take them down.

In December previous year, police foiled a suicide bomb attack on the State Palace in Jakarta, in which the attackers, according to Jones, coordinated with handlers in Syria to carry out the attack.