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Telegram ban to be lifted in Iraq as security issues resolved

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A representational picture of the Telegram app. — AFP/File
A representational picture of the Telegram app. — AFP/File

The Ministry of Telecommunications in Iraq has announced the decision to lift the ban on the Telegram messaging app, which had been imposed due to concerns regarding security and data leaks. 

This decision comes as a response to the company’s efforts to address security requirements and concerns raised by Iraqi authorities. The initial ban was put in place earlier this week due to instances of personal information leaks from both official state institutions and citizens.

Telegram has a significant user base in Iraq, serving as a messaging platform, news source, and content-sharing hub. However, the presence of channels containing sensitive personal data, including names, addresses, and familial connections of Iraqi citizens, raised alarms over data privacy.

In a statement, the Ministry of Telecommunications clarified that the decision to reverse the ban was influenced by the company’s response to the demands of security authorities. These demands primarily revolved around identifying and mitigating the sources responsible for the leaks of citizens’ data. The company demonstrated its commitment to collaborating with relevant authorities and ensuring compliance.

Responding to inquiries, a representative from Telegram’s press team emphasized the platform’s strict adherence to privacy policies. They highlighted that the unauthorized sharing of private data contradicts Telegram’s terms of service, and the platform’s moderators actively remove such content to safeguard user privacy. The representative further clarified that Telegram has neither been requested to provide nor shared any private user data.

Previously, the Ministry of Telecommunications expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s lack of response to requests for the closure of channels involved in unauthorized data sharing from both official state institutions and individual citizens.

This situation underscores the intricate balance between digital communication platforms and data protection, showcasing how proactive measures can lead to the resolution of security concerns. With the ban lifted, it serves as a reminder of the ongoing need for collaboration between platform providers and regulatory authorities to ensure data security and privacy in an increasingly connected world.

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