Terror Telegram

Indonesia recently blocked Telegram, a messaging app, due to its “terrorism content”. Indonesians took to Twitter to protest against the ban but the government says the app has many channels that enco

Published: 18th July 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2017 10:52 PM   |  A+A-

Why Daesh loves it
Telegram is a free Russian-designed messaging app that lets people exchange messages, photos and videos. It has attracted about 100 million users since its launch in 2013, according to AFP. The Islamic State has been using social media platforms to spread its propaganda. But their activities took a significant turn in September 2015 when the group’s official media outlets took to Telegram, writes Laura Smith in the BBC

Mirror, Mirror
The group moved to Telegram from Twitter as the micro-blogging service kept blocking IS accounts. And that was when Telegram introduced its ‘channel feature’ which lets users broadcast to an unlimited number of users. But the app kept blocking the terror group’s official channels.

But IS members set up many other channels that mirror the original. The mirror channels, called the Nashir News Agency, have also regularly been suspended, Smith adds. To overcome this, member sets up a channel and allow it to build substantial following before suddenly switching to a IS mirror brand. The Nashir agency in April even boasted of setting up 100 mirror accounts

Backdoor Ban
Telegram says the app is safe from hackers. It had even announced $3,00,000 prize for anyone who could hack the ‘secret chats’ in the app. And nobody won. The app’s cofounder Pavel Durov (in pic) has resisted calls to install ‘backdoors’ that authorities could use to access the encrypted messages, saying it could undermine privacy. He said Sunday that every month they block “thousands of ISIS-related channels”

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