Iraq’s Telecommunication Ministry stated that the country will lift a restriction on the instant messaging application Telegram this Sunday, August 13. The ban was put into effect earlier this week as the Middle Eastern country was concerned about data leaks of official state institutions and citizens.
Telegram is commonly used in Iraq for sending messages, but it is also a news source and a content-viewing app. As such, some channels contain personal data including the names, addresses, and family relations of people in Iraq.
As a result, the application was banned for a few days considering these users could have their information put in danger. However, the ministry stated that the ban was lifted because “the company that owns the platform responded to the requirements of the security authorities that called on the company to disclose the entities that leaked citizens’ data.”
After this, Telegram confirmed that a number of channels where this information had been posted is now shut down. “We can confirm that our moderators took down several channels sharing personal data. However, we can also confirm that no private user data was requested from Telegram and that none has been shared.” The company affirmed.
Last week, the authorities stated that the Russian-origin app did not respond to the request for closing down platforms that share data illegally, including leaks from official state institutions and citizens’ personal information. In response, Telegram stated that posting private data is “forbidden by Telegram’s terms of service,” and this forbidden content is “usually removed by moderators.”