Telegram fined over 5 million euros for breaching German law
What do you want to know
- Popular messaging app Telegram has reportedly been fined 5.125 million euros by Germany.
- The app apparently doesn’t have a “legal” way to report illegal content on the platform.
- It seems that Telegram has not yet appealed the fine.
The Telegram messaging service is being monitored by German officials, who have previously accused the app of being a “means of radicalisation”. And now, according to a report by Associated Press (AP), the owners of the well-known courier service have been fined 5.125 million euros for breaking German law.
The news comes after Telegram was allegedly found providing user data to German authorities due to suspicions of terrorist activity and child abuse.
According to another AP report in January, a German security official created a team to investigate users suspected of using Telegram, one of the most popular messaging apps, to “commit crimes”.
Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office has also warned against using the app to attack politicians, researchers and medical professionals for their contributions to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic in particular has contributed to the radicalization of people on Telegram, threatening others and even posting calls for murder,” agency chief Holger Muench said in a statement, AP reports.
Telegram has become one of the leading messaging apps for Android device users as it works on all devices and platforms. Every messaging app is required to have regulations and a legal way to report illegal content on their platforms in Germany.
The Federal Office of Justice, however, said the platform has not established a legal way to report illegal content on the platform, nor an official communication address. Both appear to be mandatory under German laws for these online messaging platforms.
Currently, Telegram indicates on its site’s FAQ that all chats are private between members of the platform. Users will still be able to report sticker sets, channels and bots if they find it illegal. Users can further use the “report” option in their respective apps across all platforms to report shady channels or people, for that matter.
“The operators of messaging services and social networks bear a special responsibility to act against incitement to hatred and violence on their platforms,” Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said in a statement. “These legal requirements and liability cannot be avoided by trying to be inaccessible.”
Although this is a massive fine for Telegram, the AP report suggests they can still appeal the fine. Android Central has reached out to Telegram for comment and will update this article when we get back to you.