Iraq lifts ban on Telegram

Asian Tech Press (Aug 14) -- Iraq has lifted its ban on messaging app Telegram, which has been operating again in the country since Sunday.

Iraq's Ministry of Telecommunications said in a statement that the decision was based on instructions from Prime Minister Muhammad Shia' al-Sudani.

Meanwhile, Telegram's operating company has agreed to work with Iraqi security agencies to prevent data leaks.

The ministry reiterated that it is not against freedom of expression, but emphasized the importance of respecting Iraqi law and security as well as protecting users' data, the statement noted.

Last Sunday, Iraq's telecoms authority announced that it had blocked Telegram on instructions from higher authorities due to data privacy and "national security" concerns.

Telegram is widely used in Iraq for messaging, as well as a news source and content sharing tool.

According to Reuters, some Telegram channels contained large amounts of personal data, including names, addresses and family relationships of Iraqis.

The ban cames after the Iraqi government repeatedly asked Telegram to stop data leaks involving state institutions and individuals.

Earlier, Telegram was banned in a number of other countries due to similar concerns.

For example, Brazil suspended Telegram in April this year for failing to provide data on neo-Nazi organizations.

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