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Iran protests: Telegram and Instagram restricted

Media playback is unsupported on your device Iran has moved to restrict social media networks that have been used to organise three days of anti-establishment protests. The restrictions on messaging app Telegram and photo sharing app Instagram are “temporary”, state news agency Irib reported. The decision was taken “to maintain tranquillity and security of society”, a source was quoted as saying. The protests have been the biggest show of dissent since huge rallies in 2009. They began in the north-east as an outcry against economic hardship and rising prices, but…

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Telegram to block terror channels after Indonesian ban

Messaging service Telegram has promised to shut down terrorist-related channels after Indonesia’s government partially blocked access to its platform. The Ministry of Communication and IT blocked Telegram’s web version on Friday and threatened to stop access to its app as well. Jakarta claimed Telegram had been used to promote radicalism and to give instructions for carrying out attacks. The firm’s founder said he was “upset” by the move. In a note posted to his Telegram followers, Pavel Durov said his firm had now removed all terrorist-related public channels reported by…

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Telegram registers with Russian regulator

The founder of encrypted messaging app Telegram has agreed to register the company in Russia, following pressure from local authorities. Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor had warned that Telegram would be blocked if it did not comply with new data laws. Founder Pavel Durov said the company would be registered on the government’s list of information distributors. However, he insisted Telegram would not share confidential user data. Telegram lets people send encrypted messages, which cannot be read by criminals or law enforcement if intercepted. It has about 100 million users, but…

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Russia targets Telegram app after St Petersburg bombing

Russia’s FSB security agency has said the Telegram mobile messaging app was used by a suicide bomber who killed 15 people in St Petersburg in April. Authorities have already threatened to block the app, founded by Russian businessman Pavel Durov, for refusing to sign up to new data laws. Mr Durov has refused to let regulators access encrypted messages on the app. Telegram has some 100 million users and has been used by so-called Islamic State (IS) and its supporters. IS used the app to declare its involvement in the…

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Messaging app Telegram centrepiece of IS social media strategy

The Islamic State militant group (IS) is fighting on many fronts against those seeking to defeat it. One of those fronts is a digital one. IS puts media warfare on a par with its battle on the ground and often glorifies “media martyrs” – people who are killed while creating videos and other digital content for the group. Like many other such groups, IS has been an enthusiastic user of social media and the web, broadcasting propaganda about its successes and using it as a recruitment tool. Although a long-time…

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