Indonesia to lift Telegram app restriction

telegram-logoJAKARTA: Indonesia said Tuesday it would lift a partial block on the popular Telegram messaging service app after the company agree to speed up the removal of terrorism-related content.

Last month the country restricted computer access to Telegram because of material related to radicalism and terrorism, including tips on assembling bombs and launching attacks.

The firm’s founder has now promised to move faster to process requests to remove the material and to set up a direct line to handle such demands from the government.

“The timeline (to lift the ban) is this week,” communications ministry official Semuel Pangerapan told reporters after meeting Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov.

Durov said it could take up to 36 hours to take down terrorism content in the past, but his firm now aimed to act in a matter of hours after it added Indonesian-speaking members to its team.

He said Telegram was committed to work faster to “shut down publicly available content related to ISIS (the Islamic State group) and propaganda of terrorism”.

Indonesia imposed the partial ban after it suffered a string of attacks, including one by a man whom police said was radicalised after reading material on Telegram.

Telegram is a free Russian-designed messaging app that lets people exchange messages, photos and videos in groups of 10,000. It has attracted about 100 million users since its launch in 2013.