Iraq Enforces Telegram Ban Over Privacy and National Security Concerns
In a move aimed at safeguarding national security and user privacy, the government of Iraq has blocked access to the popular messaging platform Telegram since August 6, 2023. The ban, enacted through an order from the Ministry of Communications, has raised concerns about citizens’ freedom of information and communication while addressing alleged violations involving personal data integrity.
The decision to restrict access to Telegram highlights Iraq’s desire to mitigate potential threats to national security and to protect citizens from unauthorized access to sensitive information. As a result, individuals in Iraq are now required to use virtual private network (VPN) services to bypass the ban and continue using the platform.
The UK-based internet watchdog NetBlocks reported that access to Telegram was limited by major service providers Zain and Earthlink, while it remained available through Kurdish operators Kurdistan Net and Korek Telecom. The disruption underscores the evolving landscape of internet censorship, wherein users find alternative methods to maintain access to essential communication tools.