Messaging app Telegram comes under Belgian supervision

Messaging app Telegram comes under Belgian supervision
Messaging app Telegram comes under Belgian supervision

Telegram was developed in 2013 by two Russian brothers and claims to have at least 700 million active users worldwide. In Europe there would be about 40 million. Content moderation on the app is very limited, allowing all kinds of conspiracy theories to flourish.

The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) will become the supervisory authority for the controversial app. It will even be responsible for the whole of Europe.

“Suppose someone in the Netherlands is in a Telegram channel that calls for violence against a synagogue or mosque, and sends a report to Telegram but finds that nothing is done, they can file a complaint with BIPT,” says Mathias Vermeulen from the data rights office AWO.

This principle applies to all persons or institutions living in the region between Lisbon and Helsinki who identify that there is illegal content on Telegram. If the app does not comply with the rules, BIPT can impose a penalty.

BIPT is still waiting for its official designation as competent authority. “That should be the case within a few days, with an announcement in the Staatsblad”, says spokesperson Jimmy Smedts. But BIPT will also have to work closely with regulators in the federal states. To this end, the federal, Flemish, French-speaking and German-speaking parliaments must still ratify a cooperation agreement.

The article is in Dutch


Tags: Messaging app Telegram Belgian supervision


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