25 Mar, 2024 @ 11:45
1 min read

Telegram latest in Spain: Messaging app gets last minute reprieve as a judge temporarily blocks plans to ban the platform

AROUND eight million users of messaging app Telegram in Spain have been given a reprieve after a judge changed his mind about suspending it over content piracy allegations.

Last Friday, the National Court’s Santiago Pedraz ordered that services be suspended while investigations took place into copyright infringements following complaints from major media companies, Atresmedia, EGEDA, Mediaset, and Telefonica.

Telegram ranks as the fourth most used messaging platform in the country with around 19 % of the population said to be using its encrypted services.

The consumer rights group Facua opposed the move- equating the decision to shutting down the internet or television channels due to isolated incidents of copyright infringement.

The judge’s ruling was set to take effect on Monday but he’s changed his mind- at least for the time being- and ordered a report from the General Commisariat of Information.

The technical difficulties for operators to block Telegram were seen as immense after his initial decision on Friday.

Cybersecurity expert Rafael Lopez said: “The parent company is located in the British Virgin Islands; the operating company is headquartered in Dubai; the legal domicile and the main headquarters are in London, and it has servers distributed all over the world, often in countries that do not have collaboration treaties with third countries.”

“This makes it very difficult to force the company to hand over its data or shut down its service in a country,” he added.

“That can be done technologically, but it’s not effective,” Lopez added.

“Telegram already has measures in place to prevent a national operator from blocking its service.”

The app itself incorporates proxy services to pretend that the connection is made from another country.

Telegram was launched in 2013, and run by Russian-born entrepreneur Pavel Durov.

From its beginnings, it stood out as an alternative to Whatsapp for the freedom and privacy of the user, refusing to share information with the authorities, as Meta’s application does.

This made Telegram the communication channel used by dissidents in authoritarian regimes such as Russia or Iran, where it has been used to organise protests.

But it has also led to the flourishing, under the cover of anonymity, channels with sensitive content: drug sales, far-right activities, disinformation, dissemination of violent content, child pornography or terrorism.

For example, the the Islamic State claimed responsibility for Friday’s Moscow concert hall terror attack on its Telegram channel.

Previous Story

These are the 12 most beautiful ‘pueblos’ in Spain’s Andalucia – according to National Geographic

Next Story

Peaky Blinders gang based on Spain’s Costa del Sol tortured driver after he was robbed of €3 million of cocaine

Latest from Crime & Law

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press