Communication and Informatics Ministry Explains The Blocking of Telegram

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 17 Juli 2017
Category: News
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Infographic about the blocking of Telegram

Infographic about the blocking of Telegram

Ministry of Communication and Informatics in a press release on Monday (17/7) stated that the Ministry, in cooperation with related ministries and institutions, have detected contents which are contrary to the law, particularly those related to the spreading of  radicalism and terrorism.

Therefore, Ministry of Communication and Informatics sent a request to Telegram to clean up these contents of all channels facilitated by the Telegram. Since 29 March 2016 to 11 June 2017, the Ministry sent six emails to Telegram.

All six emails were sent and received by the Telegram, but we still have not received the response to our request, the press release said.

The Ministry decided to block thousands of contents in Telegram after considering that there is no good intention from Telegram since the sixth email was sent on Tuesday (11/7) until two days after (13/7).

Given that there is no response from Telegram, Ministry of Communication and Informatics decided to block Telegram web service containing thousands of contents that spread radicalism and terrorism.

Furthermore, the Ministry on 14 July 2017 at 11.30 a.m. instructed all Internet Service Provider (ISP) to block 11 Domain Name System (DNS) owned by the Telegram.

Before taking a decision to block Telegram, the Ministry has coordinated with all stakeholders  in addressing the issue of radicalism and terrorism.

Statement from Telegram’s CEO

On Sunday (16/7), the CEO of  Telegram, on behalf of the team, submitted an apology and admitted that his party has received the emails from Ministry of Communication and Informatics though they denied it before. The CEO then committed to communicate with the Ministry.

Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara said that he has received an apology from the CEO of Telegram. Afterwards, the Ministry followed up by preparing the technical Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), including the process, human resources, organization, and others as follow;

  1. There is a chance to establish a Government Channel so that the communication with the Ministry of Communication and Informatics will be faster and more efficient.
  2. The Ministry will also request to be given an authority as a “trusted flagger” to accounts or channels in the service of Telegram.
  3. The Ministry will ask Telegram to open a representative office in Indonesia.
  4. Regarding the filtering management service to the contents, the Ministry will continue to improving the process, organization, technic, and human resources.

“I have received an apology email from Pavel Durov the CEO of Telegram. Apparently he was not aware of a number of requests from the Ministry of Communications and Informatics which have been sent since 2016. Durov has followed up the request and proposed a specific communication in order to address the negative contents, particularly those containing radicalism/terrorism. I appreciate Durov’s response and the Ministry will follow up the technical aspects as soon as possible so that the SOP can be implemented immediately,” Rudiantara said in the press release.

Based on the statement from Telegram counterpart, Ministry of Communications and Informatics responded and asked the Telegram to prepare technical and administrative teams in supporting the communication process and in intensifying the coordination. The Minister really appreciated the Telegram’s response, intention, and wish to establish a cooperation with the Government of Indonesia.

The policy to filter radicalism and terrorism contents is a follow-up to the handling of issues that threaten the security of the country, not to mention the issues concerning geopolitical and geostrategical changes in Southeast Asia, especially the events that occurred in the Marawi, Southern Philippines.

“The issue of national security became the concern of the President. The President himself supports the taking of measures to the contents that may threaten the security of the country,” the press statement concluded.

(Biro Humas Kemkominfo/EN) (RA/MMB/YM/Naster)

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