The U.S. tech giant Apple says it never demanded that the messaging app Telegram delete entire channels created to dox police officers and polling station workers in Belarus. Company spokespeople confirmed to the website TJournal that they did reach out to Telegram, but they say Apple is only asking the network’s administrators to remove specific posts that violate the AppStore’s terms of service by disclosing individual’s private data without their consent.
During our discussion of the issue, Telegram’s team raised no objections and said itself that it would review the information and provide a report after completing its audit, Apple representatives explained.
On October 8, Pavel Durov claimined that Apple had ordered him to delete three channels that specialize in deanonymizing election volunteers who suppressed votes against Alexander Lukashenko and police officers responsible for dispersing peaceful protests. “Unfortunately, I assume these channels will end up getting blocked on iOS, but remain available on other platforms,” Durov wrote in a Telegram post.
Durov has been at loggerheads with Apple for several months over the AppStore’s 30-percent developer fee. In late July, Telegram filed an EU antitrust complaint against Apple’s AppStore policies.