Iraq blocks Telegram App citing national security and privacy concerns
Iraq’s telecom ministry highlighted the presence of channels on Telegram that contain significant amounts of sensitive personal information, including names, addresses, and family ties of Iraqi citizens.
Iraq’s telecommunications ministry has taken action to block the Telegram messaging app due to concerns about national security and the mishandling of users’ private information. The app, which is commonly used in Iraq for communication, news, and content sharing, has been found to host channels containing sensitive personal data like names, addresses, and family connections of Iraqi individuals.
The ministry’s attempts to address this issue by asking Telegram to shut down channels that leak official state and citizen data were met with no response or cooperation from the company. The ministry emphasised its commitment to citizens’ freedom of expression and communication while also safeguarding the state’s security. As of now, Telegram has not provided a response to these matters.
Why does it matter? This situation is not unique to Iraq. Similar debates about privacy, security, and the role of technology platforms are happening around the world. Early this year, a court in Brazil has ordered Telegram to temporarily halt its services until it provides information about extremist and neo-Nazi groups as demanded. As more people rely on messaging apps for communication and sharing sensitive information, preventing the potential misuse of the platform for activities that could jeopardise the country’s security and ensuring the proper handling and protection of personal data becomes a critical issue.