Espreso. Global

Ukrainian parliament proposes to regulate Telegram messenger

21 March, 2024 Thursday
14:10

MP Mykola Kniazhytskyi proposes to regulate Telegram, which is of Russian origin, in Ukraine. At the same time, there is no question of blocking the messenger

Kniazhytskyi wrote about this on Facebook, urging his colleagues to join the signing of the bill.

"The problem with Telegram is not really a media problem. Its problem is that it is a Russian network, which, however, is actively promoted by the Ukrainian authorities as the main source of information for Ukrainians. And it turns out to be a very strange situation: on the one hand, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine directly says that it is necessary to stop using Russian networks like Telegram, and the SBU, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Security and Defense Council and other bodies make a joint statement about the use of Telegram by Russian special services. But on the other hand, these same bodies use the same Telegram as an official source of information for Ukrainians," the lawmaker explained.

Read also: How do Ukrainians monitor Russian missiles and drones through messaging app? 

According to him, during the two years of the great war, Telegram replaced the telethon and became the main platform from which people get information.

"No, we do not propose to block Telegram. If the authorities want to, they can try to do it in a similar way as they did with other Russian networks like Yandex and Odnoklassniki. In fact, we are talking about introducing approximately the same regulation for services that disseminate mass information (Telegram is just one of them) as is established by law for platforms like YouTube," said Kniazhytskyi.

He noted that Telegram and similar platforms should:

  • respond to the spread of pornography, justification of Russian aggression and other content that is already banned on other networks
  • at the request of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, disclose the ownership structure and sources of funding, as is currently provided for other media and services;

At the same time, if the ownership structure or sources of funding of the platform are found to be non-transparent, this platform cannot be used by government agencies and financial institutions that process the personal data of Ukrainians, Kniazhytskyi believes.

"Such platforms and related services will not be able to be installed on any devices used for official purposes. This is in line with the practice that already exists in Switzerland and some EU countries," the MP wrote.

"For example, in Norway, employees have been banned from using Telegram on official devices since March 2023 for roughly the same reasons," he added.

At the same time, restrictions and prohibitions on the use of platforms with non-transparent ownership should not be applied to the Security and Defense Forces due to the specifics of their work.

"Rather, they can be used if it is established by a government resolution," the MP clarified.

  • On December 13, 2023, the Ukrainian parliament adopted the law on media as a whole, and on December 29, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed it.
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