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Telegram blocks 'terrorist-related' channels after Indonesia ban

17 July 2017

Telegram's CEO Pavel Durov said on Sunday the ministry had contacted them with a list of public channels with terrorism related content but his team was "unable to quickly process" them. "We're constantly striving to be more efficient at preventing terrorist propaganda, and are always open to ideas on how to get better at this".

Samuel Pangerapan, the director general of informatics applications at the ministry, said they are preparing for the complete closure of Telegram in Indonesia if it does not develop procedures to block unlawful content.

It said in a statement that numerous app's public channels contained radical propaganda and terrorism-related content.

The ministry warned that it would block Telegram if the company behind it did not filter what it called "illegal content".

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Durov said there had been a breakdown in communication.

Durov wants to establish a direct channel of communication with the government regulator, making it easier to work together to identify and block terrorist propaganda in the future.

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.

"It may indeed seem tempting to simply ban end-to-end encryption to stop terrorists from exchanging coded messages".

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Russia's FSB security agency also said Telegram was used by those behind April's Saint Petersburg metro bombing.

On Sunday, Durov said that Telegram had blocked channels that were reported by the government, and that the company would take additional steps to remove illegal content. It is believed the app has been used to coordinate several terrorist attacks, including in Indonesia, in the last few years. In 2002, attacks on the tourist island of Bali killed 202 people and wounded more than 300 - the worst act of terror in the country's history.

He said some features in YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram were found used for terrorism.

"If you look at the situation statistically and get rid of emotion for a second. the probability that you or me will die as a result of terrorism is nearly zero", Durov told CNN in a 2015 interview.

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"Telegram is heavily encrypted and privacy-oriented, but we're no friends of terrorists - in fact, every month we block thousands of IS (Islamic State)-related public channels", the BBC quoted Duroy as saying.

Telegram blocks 'terrorist-related' channels after Indonesia ban