Telegram is to form a team of moderators to remove terrorist-related content from the encrypted messaging platform in Indonesia, after the country’s government threatened to ban the app.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has already blocked access to the web version of the chat platform, citing concerns that it was being used to spread “radical and terrorist propaganda” in the country, according to Reuters.
“This has to be done because there are many channels on this service that are full of radical and terrorist propaganda, hatred, ways to make bombs, how to carry out attacks, disturbing images, which are all in conflict with Indonesian law,” the communications ministry said in a statement on its website.
Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov said on Sunday that the service had blocked channels reported by the government and that it would take further action to remove the illegal content.
“We are forming a dedicated team of moderators with knowledge of Indonesian culture and language to be able to process reports of terrorist-related content more quickly and accurately,” Durov said in a Telegram post quoted by Associated Press.
Telegram has been criticized by governments before for its use by terrorist groups to spread propaganda and recruit members. Last month Telegram agreed to provide basic information about the company to Russia after authorities threatened to block access to the service.
Despite pressure from governments, Telegram’s founders have refused to bow to demands for backdoors into the platform for authorities to access encrypted messages, arguing that security and privacy are central tenets of the service.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Durov said Telegram is “heavily encrypted and privacy-oriented, but we’re no friends of terrorists – in fact, every month we block thousands of ISIS-related public channels”.
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