Telegram owners act to curb terrorist chat after Indonesian complaint

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Messaging service Telegram on Monday vowed to shut down terrorist-related channels after the Indonesian government partially blocked access to its platform, the media reported.

"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".

"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 is heavily-encrypted and privacy-oriented, but we're no friends of terrorists", he said. ISPs were asked to block access to the Web version of Telegram.

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.

"Up to now only 50% (of radical content have been filtered out) by social media platform providers".

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"I appreciate the response from Pavel Durov and the ministry will follow it up as soon as possible in terms of technical details so that standard operating procedures can be implemented immediately", Rudiantara said.

As of July 14, Telegram has banned 3,169 Islamic State-related bots and channels in the first two weeks of this month alone. The ultimatum on Friday had a condition: if Telegram figured out a way to moderate content then it would stay unblocked, and so, Telegram has announced the creation of such a team.

Telegram is a free Russian-designed messaging app that lets people exchange messages, photos and videos in groups of up to 5,000.

Its strong encryption has contributed to its popularity with those concerned about privacy and secure communications in the digital era but also made it useful to armed groups and other criminal groups.

"We're constantly striving to be more efficient at preventing terrorist propaganda, and are always open to ideas on how to get better at this", he said, adding he is confident that both Indonesia and Telegram can efficiently eradicate terrorist propaganda without disrupting millions of Telegram users in the country.

He said Telegram had now blocked those channels and would act to respond to future requests from Indonesian officials.

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