Iraq’s telecoms ministry said it has blocked the Telegram messaging app over national security concerns and in order to preserve the integrity of users’ personal data, which it said the app had mishandled, Reuters reports.
The app is widely used in Iraq for messaging but also as a source of news and for sharing content.
Some channels contain large amounts of personal data including the names, addresses and family ties of Iraqis.
The ministry said in a statement it had asked the app to close down “platforms that leak the data of the official state institutions and the personal data of citizens… but the company did not respond and did not interact with any of these requests.”
“The Ministry of Communications affirms its respect for citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and communication, without prejudice to the security of the state and its institutions,” the statement said.
Telegram did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.