Telegram ban: Minister of the Interior makes a tough announcement

Telegram ban: Minister of the Interior makes a tough announcement

Telegram is again in the crossfire of criticism: Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wants to take decisive action against legal violations on the messenger. There is even talk of a ban for Germany, but that should cause problems.

Telegram: Interior Minister sees messenger ban as a last resort

"Don't shoot the messenger" is an English idiom that is also not unknown in this country. At least with regard to digital messenger services, it apparently does not apply. In particular, the popular, albeit questionable WhatsApp alternative Telegram is repeatedly criticized.

In Germany it is now reaching a new high: Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser is calling for the controversial app to be banned – even if only as a last resort. "To say that in the end we will switch off the service - that would be a serious evil for every provider," says Faeser (source: Spiegel).

The app, which is not only used, but also by extremists and lateral thinkers, must comply with German law in Germany. Whether address lists shared by politicians and scientists, threatened with death in the worst case or simply "just" a lot of hate posts – these are not isolated cases at Telegram.

Telegram before the end? Why it won't come to that

However, a ban on the entire app in Germany would hardly be enforceable – and according to Faeser, it should only be the very last step . The Interior Minister prefers a common European approach. At best, Telegram could be persuaded to take action against illegal content.

However, that is unlikely, after all, the allegations against the messenger are not new. The ban as a last resort also has many pitfalls: On the one hand, the measure would not only affect users who violate the law with their Telegram messages - such a step would be difficult to justify legally.

Then there is the technical challenge: the Telegram servers are spread all over the world. The company is currently based in Dubai after withdrawing from Russia – also due to attempts to scrap the app. Even after a possible ban in Germany, it would be quite feasible for German users to keep Telegram in a roundabout way.

Other WhatsApp alternatives besides Telegram:

Google and Apple could help

A more promising approach could be to coordinate with Apple and Google. Because Telegram is not only less secure than many users believe, the app operators have already deleted content. As the colleagues from Netzpolitik.org suspect, this could be due to pressure from tech companies. Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store have regulations for applications that are offered there. This also includes dealing with illegal content.

The probability that Germany will ban Telegram single-handedly is low. Users therefore do not have to worry about whether they can continue to use the messenger for the time being . However, a merger of the EU with Google and Apple could certainly have a major impact on Telegram. To do this, however, one would first have to agree among themselves.

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