Telegram App and ISIS: Chat App Is Taking Down Channels With Possible Links to Terrorists

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The encrypted messaging app Telegram announced Wednesday that it had blocked 78 public channels possibly being used by terrorists with the Islamic State group, or ISIS, to communicate and spread propaganda. The security sweep came after Telegram users reported the channels to the company in the wake of Friday's attacks on Paris

"We were disturbed to learn that Telegram's public channels were being used by ISIS to spread their propaganda," the app announced on its own Telegram channel. The app was able to remove 78 public ISIS channels including 12 languages from its app with the help of reports sent to abuse@telegram.org, the company said in the announcement. 

Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov tweeted Thursday that privacy is still the app's top priority, pointing out that the channels removed were public, as opposed to the app's private chat option.

Cyber war against ISIS: Telegram's cyber shutdown comes after self-proclaimed hacktivist group Anonymous waged war on ISIS on Saturday in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, which left at least 129 dead and hundreds injured. In a video, Anonymous vowed to remove any sites promoting propaganda for the terrorist organization. 

Ghost Security Group, an online counterterrorism group that works closely with the U.S. government, told Mic on Wednesday that it had banned over 110,000 ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts to date. The group said that Anonymous may actually harm counterterrorism by removing ISIS-affiliated pages with valuable intel before scanning them. 

"When it comes to terrorist attacks, one of the big worries is that you could take down forums and cost someone their lives," DigitaShadow, an alias for a Ghost Security Group member, told Mic. "Anonymous has a habit of shooting in every direction and asking questions later."

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jessica Eggert

Jessica is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. She is based in New York and can be reached at jessica@mic.com.

MORE FROM

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.