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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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Telegram's privacy features compromise national security: Police

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Margareth S. Aritonang
    Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, July 17, 2017 | 09:00 pm
Telegram's privacy features compromise national security: Police Security talks: In this file photo, National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian (right) talks with Indonesian Military commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo prior to a limited Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office in Jakarta. (Antara/Yudhi Mahatma)

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has defended the government’s decision to block the web version of messaging application Telegram, claiming the application's privacy features compromise national security. 

“Privacy is allowed, but national security is also important,” Tito told the press on the sidelines of a hearing at the House of Representatives on Monday. He added that high security may come at the cost of freedom.

The police chief argued that the privacy features provided on the Telegram application posed a threat to national security, as they enabled users to apply end-to-end encryption "that could not be wiretapped."

The messaging application also allows a group chat with more than 10,000 members without providing details, including phone numbers, to the group’s administrator, a feature that Tito said would be useful for terrorists.

Tito said the police had handled more than a dozen terrorism cases in which the suspects communicated via Telegram.

“The Communications and Information Ministry has asked Telegram to grant us access [to chat groups], so that we could detect those campaigning for radicalism, bomb-making and terror acts, but to no avail,” he said.

“Thus, we must close down [the application] from operating here to show Telegram that our national security matters. This is clearly an effective measure.” (ary)

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