ERBIL Update: Iraq telecoms ministry has announced its intention to lift the ban on the Telegram (Software). This decision comes after the app faced restrictions earlier in the week, attributed to concerns regarding security and the unauthorized dissemination of data from official state establishments and individuals.
Telegram has established itself as a widely used platform in Iraq for communication purposes and as a medium for news consumption and content sharing.
However, specific Telegram channels have been identified as containing significant volumes of personal information, encompassing Iraqi citizens’ names, addresses, and familial associations.
In an official statement, the telecoms ministry justified the decision to lift the ban by highlighting that the Telegram’s owning company had responded to security authorities’ stipulations.
These authorities had urged the company to divulge the identities of those responsible for leaking citizens’ private information. The statement also noted that the Telegram company was willing to cooperate with relevant entities.
When approached by Reuters for comment, a representative from Telegram’s press team emphasized the company’s strict adherence to its terms of service. They made it clear that posting private data without consent is explicitly prohibited, with such content being routinely eliminated by the platform’s moderation team.
The representative further confirmed the removal of multiple channels sharing personal data. Telegram maintained that it had neither received nor shared private user data, effectively addressing concerns.
In the preceding week, the telecoms ministry had communicated its frustration over the lack of response from Telegram’s owning company. The ministry had sought action to shut down platforms responsible for the unauthorized distribution of data from official state institutions, as well as personal details of citizens.
As Iraq prepares for the Telegram app ban to be lifted, the episode underscores the challenges of balancing the benefits of digital communication platforms with safeguarding sensitive information, prompting both companies and authorities to refine their approach to privacy and security.
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