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17 July 2017, 04:02 | Rufus Hill
Indonesia Limits Telegram Messaging Service, Threatens To Ban App Over Security Concerns
"We are now preparing a process to close down Telegram app in full throughout Indonesia if Telegram does not come up with a standard operating procedure to handle law-violating contents", the communications ministry said in a statement issued late Friday.
Pavel Durov, who with his brother Nikolai founded the app in 2013, said in a message to his 40,000 followers on Telegram that he'd been unaware of a failure to quickly respond to an Indonesian government request to block a number of offending channels - chat groups on the app - but was now rectifying the situation.
It said in a statement that numerous app's public channels contained radical propaganda and terrorism-related content.
"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.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has seen a resurgence in attacks, inspired in large part by ISIL; a twin suicide bombing at a Jakarta bus station in May killed three police officers and wounded several others.
Indonesians are among of the world's biggest users of social media.
"Monitoring by the ministry has so far found no criminal elements, recruitment or fund collection for terrorism activities in the application (Telegram)", he said after attending a Hari Raya open house event at Jakel Mall, here today.
But the Indonesian government's move has led to a public outcry in Indonesia, with Twitter and Facebook exploding with negative comments and some people reporting they were unable to access the web.telegram.org domain.
As of July 14, Telegram has banned 3,169 Islamic State-related bots and channels in the first two weeks of this month alone.
"It made me upset to hear that the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and IT suggested they would have to block Telegram in Indonesia".
The free messaging service can be used as a smartphone app and on computers through a web interface or desktop messenger.
The government has no plan to ban the Telegram messaging application in Malaysia as it poses no threat as of now.
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.
Indonesia said it will block the app if it continues to be a platform for radical propaganda and violent militants.
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