Telegram blocks 'terrorist-related' channels after Indonesia ban

Telegram blocks 'terrorist-related' channels after Indonesia ban

Telegram, he added, had "several million" users in Indonesia.

Speaking during a visit to the Jakel shopping centre here, the home minister said his ministry and the police anti-terrorism unit had studied the matter but found there were no elements in Telegram to facilitate crimes such as those undertaken by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

Ahmad Zahid said the government also had some decoding methods to monitor methods used by Daesh for dissemination of its ideology, recruiting members and obtaining funds via social media or online communication platforms.

Durov, however, said he was "unaware" of requests made by the country earlier for it to remove the channels, calling it a "miscommunication".

"This has to be done because many channels on (Telegram) 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 IT Ministry said in a statement released on its website after the ban.

"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", Durov said in a Telegram post, as quoted by the Associated Press.

The ministry said it has asked internet companies in Indonesia, which has the highest Muslim population in the world, to bar access of 11 addresses the web version of the platform is used in.

The partial block has sparked public outcry in Indonesia, with Twitter and Facebook exploding with negative comments and some people reporting they were unable to access the domain.

The announcement comes after Indonesia limited access to the app and threatened a total ban.

Telegram is a free, non-profit cloud-based instant messaging service founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov in 2013.

The ministry warned that it would block Telegram if the company behind it did not filter what it called "illegal content".

By November 2015, Telegram administrators announced that it had blocked 78 public channels believed to be operated by the Islamic State for spreading propaganda and communications.

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

Durov said Telegram blocks thousands of IS-related channels a month and is "always open to ideas on how to get better at this".