Officials cite data breach for app's ban

Telegram cooperating with Iraq’s Ministry of Communications

BAGHDAD, August 12 — The Telegram application has responded to the Ministry of Communications’ request for assistance in identifying individuals behind specific channels that reportedly leaked citizen’s private data, according to a close advisor to Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani.

Political Advisor Sabhan Mulla Jiyad spoke to 964 Arabic on Friday and said: “The Iraqi Ministry of Communications requested information from the Telegram platform regarding concealed sites that have published private citizens’ data.”

“Due to the platform’s initial lack of response, the Ministry of Communications temporarily suspended the platform. Afterward, the platform resumed and interacted positively with the Ministry of Communications.”

“This interaction will aid in uncovering the individuals responsible for the anonymous dites that promote chaos and rumors.”

Iraqi authorities banned the use of Telegram on August 6 in a decision that aimed to curb “suspicious political activity.”

An official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told 964: “The decision targets active channels broadcasting provocative discourse, misleading news, or those that leaked government data that harmed the public interest, the latest being the border demarcation crisis with Kuwait.”