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Iraq to unblock Telegram app as platform responded to security concerns

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Iraq’s telecoms ministry said it will lift a ban on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday, which was imposed earlier this week, citing security concerns and data leaks of official state institutions and citizens.

The app is widely used in Iraq for messaging but also as a source of news and for sharing content.

Some channels contain large amounts of personal data including the names, addresses and family ties of Iraqis.

The ministry said in a statement the decision to lift the ban came after “the company that owns the platform responded to the requirements of the security authorities that called on the company to disclose the entities that leaked citizens’ data.”

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The company also “expressed its full readiness to communicate with the relevant authorities…,” the statement added.

In response to Reuters request for comment a member of Telegram’s press team said that “posting private data without consent is forbidden by Telegram’s terms of service and such content is routinely removed by our moderators.”

“We can confirm that our moderators took down several channels sharing personal data. However, we can also confirm that no private user data was requested from Telegram and that none has been shared.”

Last week the ministry said that the company did not respond to its request to close down platforms that leak data of the official state institutions and the personal data of citizens.

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