The Iraqi Ministry of Telecommunications announced the suspension of Telegram in the country due to concerns about national security and the protection of users’ personal data, which the app was allegedly mishandling.
Telegram blockage in Iraq
The popular application was suspended on Sunday afternoon, preventing citizens in Baghdad and other cities from receiving or sending messages on the platform. As a result, many people have turned to VPNs or proxies.
In Iraq, Telegram is widely used for messaging, as well as for accessing news and sharing content. Certain channels on the app are said to contain large amounts of personal data, such as Iraqis’ names, addresses, and family connections.
The ministry stated in an official statement that it had made multiple requests to the app to shut down platforms that were compromising the data of official state institutions as well as citizens’ personal information. Unfortunately, the company did not respond to or participate in any of these requests.
The ministry emphasized its commitment to ensuring the security of the state and its institutions while respecting citizens’ rights to free expression and communication.
The suspension was met with criticism from pro-Iran media outlets. After the suspension, one of these factions stated that the government was “gagging” them. The channel, which has over 330,000 members, has also accused the government of limiting their freedom.
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