Apple asks Telegram to block channels involved in doxing Belarusian riot police
Tech giant Apple has asked the administration of the messaging app Telegram to delete three channels responsible for publishing the personal data of Belarusian law enforcement officers, reports Telegram founder Pavel Durov.
The channels in question are “Karateli Belarusi” (Punishers of Belarus), “Chat Gruppy Karateli” (Punishers’ Group Chat) and “VSE NARUSHENIYA!” (ALL VIOLATIONS!).
According to Durov, Apple believes that the publication of this personal information could provoke violence. The Telegram founder said that he would prefer not to touch the channels, but also suggested that Apple wouldn’t give the messaging app any other choice.
“My guess is that, unfortunately, these channels will end up being blocked on iOS, but will remain available on other platforms,” he said.
Belarusian opposition Telegram channels have been publishing the personal data of law enforcement officers since early September — the creators behind these channels believe that the threat of being identified will help prevent riot police from using violence against protesters. The country’s most popular opposition Telegram channel, Nexta, has already released personal information on several thousand law enforcement officers to its more than two million subscribers.
Telegram founder Pavel Durov has been in conflict with Apple for several months. At the end of July, Durov publicly criticized Apple for its 30 percent App Store “tax” on developers, saying that it was forcing them to raise prices to cover losses, and in the end, users are the ones paying for it. Telegram later filed a complaint about Apple’s App Store commission with EU regulators.