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Govt blocks web-based Telegram app

  • Haeril Halim
    Haeril Halim

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Sat, July 15, 2017 | 06:30 am
Govt blocks web-based Telegram app On alert: Personnel of the National Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad are on guard following a search in a house belonging to a suspected terrorist in Ransasawo, Bandung, West Java, on May 26. (Antara/Novrian Arbi)

The Communications and Information Ministry on Friday blocked 11 domain name systems (DNS) owned by the Telegram encrypted messaging application after collecting evidence that the app has been widely used by local terrorists to communicate and spread radical ideologies in Indonesia.

The 11 blocked 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.

As a result of the policy, people could not access the web-based Telegram, but still could use the Telegram app installed on mobile phones.

The Communications and Information Ministry's director general of information applications, Samuel Abrijani Pangerapan, said the ministry was also looking into the possibility of blocking the mobile phone-based Telegram app.

Samuel said the ministry found many channels in Telegram promoting radicalism, terrorism and hate speech and giving instructions to people on how to devise bombs and carry out terrorist attacks.

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

“We are now also preparing to block the Telegram app nationwide if it does not comply with SOP on the handling of contents violating laws on their app. The measure is being taken to protect the country [from threats of terrorism],” Samuel said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) director Sidney Jones said: “Telegram is the app of choice for terrorists because its encryption and privacy protections are more stringent than [those of] other applications.” (ebf)

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