Germany Does Not Rule Out Shutting Down Telegram If It Continues to Be Popular With Anti-Lockdowners

Germany says it will not rule out shutting down the popular Telegram messaging service.

It may have to be banned if it continues to prove popular with far-right groups [LOL. Who the heck isn’t “far-right” in Germany? Everyone who dissents on anything is slandered as such.] and people opposed to pandemic-related restrictions and continues to violate German law, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in remarks published on Wednesday.

“We cannot rule this out,” she told Die Zeit weekly. “A shutdown would be grave and clearly a last resort. All other options must be exhausted first.”

She added that Germany was discussing with its partners in the European Union how to regulate Telegram.

Really leaning into that red

The messaging app has grown partly because it is one of the easiest ways to use an encrypted chat service, with messages protected from snooping as they are sent between users. It also offers a system of groups that allows for messages to be broadcast quickly.

But those same features have proven controversial, as they have allowed criminals and other groups to organise away from law enforcement.

In Germany the platform is seen [by politicians as] a source for conspiracy theories and hate speech, especially as the country has grappled with the Covid pandemic. It seen as a major platform for anti-lockdown activists.

Germany is not alone in potentially seeking controls on Telegram. Bans and regulations exist in a variety of countries, from China to India and Russia. [Great company to keep.] Those governments often point to criminal and problem content being spread on the platform to justify the blocks.

Source: The Independent 

Editor’s note:  Isn’t lovely how the MSM is justifying a Telegram ban by pointing out that China and Russia do it too? In what other context would this be a valid argument for the Western MSM? They have their differences, but when it comes to Covid they’re one happy Telegram-cracking mind-diseased WEF-loving family. (BTW, as far as I knew Russia banned Telegram but then gave up as it couldn’t be enforced so that now it is again no longer banned, so that argument isn’t even true, at least no longer.)

Why the state is powerless against Telegram

There is no shortage of goodwill in politics: the new German government is in complete agreement that the messenger service Telegram must be better regulated. Every day, a number of calls for violence to resist Corona measures are published there, and the trade in fake vaccination certificates is flourishing. Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) already affirmed it over the weekend, and now the new Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) has also left no doubt: “We must take more decisive action against incitement, violence and hatred on the Internet.”

But the more precisely one asks about possible measures, the clearer it becomes: The Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) may be one of the strictest regulations against hate messages on the Internet, but the authorities in this country are currently largely powerless against a service like Telegram.

This starts with the dispute as to whether Telegram can be covered by the regulations at all – after all, the law is about regulating social networks like Facebook, YouTube and TikTok, where lies, hatred and incitement to hatred can spread at lightning speed under the eyes of the world’s public.

For a long time, the Federal Office of Justice took the view that the company, as a chat platform, was essentially intended for direct exchange and, what’s more, was not profit-oriented. Therefore, the NetzDG was not relevant at all. But on Monday, a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Justice clarified: Telegram fulfills different functions. In addition to the messenger service, it also offers public channels and chat groups, which sometimes consist of hundreds of thousands of participants.

However, the company’s headquarters in Dubai, which allows the company’s founders to hide behind organized irresponsibility, creates much greater difficulties. If one wants to force Telegram to delete individual content or entire channels under the NetzDG, it already fails because the necessary hearing letters cannot even be delivered. The procedure is cumbersome: first of all, a request for legal assistance must be submitted to the United Arab Emirates. This was done in May 2021, reports the spokeswoman for the Federal Minister of Justice. When asked whether these letters have actually been served, she can only shrug her shoulders.

Telegram was founded in 2013 by Pavel Durov together with his brother Nikolai. The two had previously become rich with the social network VKontakte, which is very popular in Russia. Durow is considered a kind of Russian Mark Zuckerberg [only he’s a good guy?] and is known for his libertarian stance. He financed the service himself for a long time. In the meantime, however, the company is trying to earn money with advertisements. According to its own information, more than 500 million people use the service.

Telegram makes it clear on its website that it is very reluctant to delete content. It says it has to follow up on “legitimate requests” for public content in order to be able to create a “secure, global means of communication.” But that doesn’t mean bowing to local restrictions on free speech, he said. “For example, if criticism of the government is banned in a country, Telegram is in no way a part of such politically motivated censorship,” the service affirms. It goes against the founders’ principles, it says. You block terrorist content, Telegram writes, but do not prevent users from “peacefully expressing alternative opinions.” When asked, the Federal Criminal Police Office also confirmed that prosecuting crimes on platforms like Telegram is “fundamentally difficult.” For the most part, Telegram does not comply with “suggestions” to delete right-wing extremist content.

However, this does not mean that nothing is happening – and this is also quite surprising: The channels of vegan chef Attila Hildmann, who has become a leading figure in the “Querdenker” movement and is under investigation for incitement of the people, have, for example, been blocked in the Telegram app for several months. It is suspected that the operators of the two major app stores Google and Apple have enforced this. There is no confirmation of this, only a note: Hildmann’s channels can still be accessed via the desktop version.

In principle, Telegram cannot be reached for inquiries. There is no imprint on the website. Journalists should contact a chatbot on Telegram. This assures that the request has been forwarded to the press team. There is no further feedback. The Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, who initiated the current debate, does not want to accept this collective helplessness: “It can no longer be acceptable that the operators of Telegram from Dubai stand idly by while death threats are spread on their network,” he told the F.A.Z. “If they want to offer their services on the German market, they must take action against this agitation. Otherwise, the European Union, the German government, Apple and Android manufacturer Alphabet must intervene.”

Source: The Germany Eye

  1. Ron says

    Germany wants to regulate, okay: muzzle, a Dubai company’s website running on a US domain. This will work no better than trying to nail Jello to a wall. If Telegram gets shut down then another service will appear. It cannot be stopped short of turning off the internet.

    The cat is out of the bag. The horse has escaped the barn.

  2. Sheridan says

    Only problem is that Pavel Durov acquired French citizenship in August 2021. Thus, is Telegram as secure as before? What about Durov’s resolve to not comply with EU pressure the way he did with Russian authorities ? He can be convinced to collaborate now and his users won’t even know. As a Davos, WEF, Young global leader, on whose side do we believe Telegram is ?
    My bet is: not on the people’s side.

  3. GMC says

    Stupid Krauts in charge won’t OK the Nordie II, so that the people can get some Russian gaz at a good price, but they OK d that mRNA poison for their people – Overnight.

    This is what a country looks like when the Zionist Jews take control of it for 100 years – on and off. And the US isn’t that far behind.

  4. John Davies says

    These politicians are idiots. They represent nobody but themselves. They fucking earn any death threats they receive. They need to grow a spine if they are going to behave reprehensibly. The person who actually carries out the death threat will most likely never post his or her intentions on fucking social media FFS!
    The further left they push, the sharper the swing to the right will be when the public finally snap. And people “wonder” why Hitler rose to power. Thick as pig shit and censor all dissent… Can’t wait for the inevitable car crash, can’t come soon enough!

  5. Bobby says

    The Germans have lost their way. These people, so harshly tested in the last century should know better. They as a whole, don’t even seem to be in control of their own nation.

  6. ken says

    Secure communication is absolutely essential which is why governments do not want citizens to have access to.

    But that goes 2 ways. Communication is so complex today it is an easy task to take anyone out. A lot easier then many think.

    All governments are out of control, all are being controlled by the UN,,, the UN controlled by billionaires clubs and the billionaires clubs controlled by the beast . Very little sovereignty or common sense left. They have taken over most of the West with very little trouble. The sheep just stand around baaing. The only holdout so far is a couple of states in the US otherwise its a goner as well.

    Russia, China and Southeast Asia are goners, as are both Korea’s,,, India and Pakistan, and the other Stans,,, NA and the ME along with most of sub Sahara Africa and all of South America, Mexico and Central America with one or two exceptions. Israel appears gone but I think that may be a charade.

    Looks to me like a well planned and well executed operation. Going on three years the people are still scared crapless, still masking up, still taking the injections and boosters even after their masters tell them it doesn’t prevent the disease or the transmission. They still lock down when told,,, stay their distance from each other and have little problem offering their children to the beast.

    When you can tell them the truth and they still don’t believe it, then you are home free.
    At this point it appears pretty much over unless a miracle occurs.

    Largest prison in the universe.

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