Federal Interior Minister Nancy Visser (SPD) has threatened to shut down the Telegram chat service if the company continues to ignore German laws. “We cannot rule it out in and of itself,” the minister of the weekly “Die Zeit” newspaper said of such a move. However, it is “extremely dangerous and obviously a last resort”. Therefore, all other options must have previously proven unsuccessful.
However, it is clear that previous actions, including a warning letter from the Federal Ministry of Justice, have not led to anything, according to Visser. “Let’s say, in the end, we shut down the service – that would be a delicate evil for any service provider.”
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So far, extremists have been able to spread hate and craft attack plans on Telegram without having to expect operators to intervene. The Law Enforcement on Networks Act obligates social network providers to promptly remove apparent illegal content after filing a complaint. “I think law enforcement is one of the most important points here,” the interior minister said.
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Faeser is striving for a European solution to force Telegram to cooperate. “Today Telegram is in Dubai, tomorrow maybe in the Cayman Islands,” she said. “We will need a lot of force to enforce the law. As a German nation-state, we can’t do it alone.” She talks about this with her European counterparts. (AFP)