Espreso. Global

EU creates body to oversee Telegram messenger

6 May, 2024 Monday
17:00

The EU will set up a body to regulate the operation of the Telegram messenger: the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) will become the new agency

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This is reported by De Standard.

The Belgian Institute of Postal Services and Telecommunications will monitor the messenger's response to illegal content, in particular to Telegram channels that disseminate information about arms trafficking, calls for violence, or coordinated actions against refugees.

"Let's say someone in the Netherlands is on a Telegram channel that calls for violence against a synagogue or mosque and sends a report to Telegram, but finds that nothing is done about it. He or she can file a complaint with the BIPT," explains Matthias Vermeulen from the AWO's data rights office.

He noted that oversight of the messenger is not an easy job, as “Telegram is the platform that cooperates the least with governments, and compared to other apps, a lot is possible here.”

According to Jimmy Smedts, a spokesman for the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications, BIPT is currently awaiting its official appointment as a regulator.

The publication adds that Belgium has been granted supervision over Telegram under the European Digital Services Act (DSA). This set of EU rules came into force in February, and its purpose is to give EU countries more control over social networks and other online services, in particular by controlling how they moderate content. Telegram has appointed the Belgian company EDSR as its representative in Europe, so the BIPT has jurisdiction over the supervision.

  • On March 25, MP Mykola Kniazhytskyi introduced a bill to the Ukrainian parliament that proposes to regulate Telegram in Ukraine.
  • Later, Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said that Telegram is a problem from the point of view of national security.
  • Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech, said that a clear argumentation is needed to block Telegram in Ukraine. The reason could be a large-scale data leak.
  • Recently, Telegram founder Pavel Durov announced changes to Telegram channels aimed at Ukrainian users due to the requirements of the App Store.
  • On April 29, official Ukrainian chatbots that helped in the fight against Russian aggression resumed their work. The day before, the Telegram app blocked them. A representative of the platform said it was a mistake.
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