Telegram has promised to block terror contents after the Indonesian government threatened a ban. Very recently, suspected militants, arrested by the police, have confessed to the authority that the app was used to receive orders and directives that propelled several attacks in the past 18 months.
Following this findings, Pavel Durov affirmed that his firm is forming a team of moderators who have a knowledge of the Indonesian language and culture to remove “terrorist-related”. This move came after a threat from the Indonesian government as reported by abcNEWS:
“The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on Friday said it was preparing for the total closure of Telegram in Indonesia, where it had several million users, if it didn’t develop procedures to block unlawful content. As a partial measure, it asked internet companies in the world’s most populous Muslim nation to block access to 11 addresses offering the web version of Telegram.”
The director general of Informatics at the ministry, Samuel Pangerapan said the app is used for recruitment purpose into militant groups in Indonesia, as well as to promote extreme contents of hate and to give and receive orders of attacks.
Mr. Durov stated: “Telegram is heavily encrypted and privacy-oriented, but we are no friends of terrorists- in fact, every month we block thousands of ISIS-related public channels”. Nonetheless, Islamic States operatives set up similar channels to repeat the same hateful content. In this regard, blocking the channels when there’s complete liberty to create more to mirror the same content, is not a perfect solution to end the social media crises.
abcNEWs reported further that “nearly two months after the initial assault, Philippine forces are still battling to regain complete control of the city. Experts fear the southern Philippines could become a new base for the IS, including Indonesian and Malaysian militants returning from the Middle East, as an international coalition retakes territory held by the IS in Syria and Iraq”. Yet, with the government’s move to ban the app, there was a public outcry on Facebook and twitter on the inability to access the telegram domain.
Needless to say that the strong encryption of telegram has contributed to its popularity especially to users keen on privacy, including criminals who use the medium to perpetrate their evil deeds.