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Report: German Government Considering Shutting Down Telegram

Because anti-lockdown activists are using it to organise

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Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A report in the German newspaper Die Welt suggests that the government there is considering taking action to shut down messaging app Telegram because people opposed to COVID restrictions and lockdowns are using it to organise protests and share information.

The report contains an interview with German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser who stated “We cannot rule this out,” when asked if the platform will be targeted for censorship.

“A shutdown would be grave and clearly a last resort. All other options must be exhausted first,” Faeser clarified.

The minister also told the newspaper that while it is currently unclear what legal action would be needed to shut down the platform, the German government is in consultation with the European Union regarding potential regulation of it.

The Epoch Times notes that in Germany, which has implemented some of the most severe pandemic restrictions, “Telegram has been used as a hub of communication for the protest movement against the measures established to fight the CCP virus, including lockdowns, intermittent mask mandates, and restrictions for the unvaccinated.”

Telegram has been shut down or blocked in other countries including Iran, China, Pakistan, India, Thailand, and Russia.

The platform saw a huge surge in users last year after Facebook owned Watts App introduced a controversial privacy update which led to concerns that the app would hand over user data to its parent company. It also came at the same time as President Trump’s purge from big tech social media platforms.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov warned that people are “being held hostage by tech monopolies.”

In addition to being independent from big tech, Telegram promises robust end-to-end encryption, ensuring messages remain private.

This has made Telegram a target for authoritarians and big tech monopolists.

In the U.S. lobbyist group The Coalition for a Safer Web even filed a lawsuit against Apple in an effort to get Telegram removed from the app store, claiming that it allows ‘extremists’ to spread ‘hate speech’.

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    censorship

    F**k Apple

    Trying to kick Elon’s Twitter off the app store.

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    Who made Apple the Praetorian Guards of the Internet?

    Why should they have a monopoly over permissible content when 97.5% of their donations go to Democrats?

    And who made them moral arbiters of anything given what they get up to in China?

    Please share this video! https://youtu.be/2uS8tUbdBNc

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    Apple Turned Off Protest Communication Tool Right Before Anti-Lockdown Uprising in China

    Smartphone company helps Beijing crush dissent.

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    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    As it mulls kicking Elon Musk’s Twitter off the app store, it has now been revealed that Apple restricted the use of AirDrop in China, a move that harmed the organizational efforts of demonstrators protesting against the CCP’s lockdowns.

    Over the past week, multiple major cities across China have seen massive protests against lockdowns, with the normally compliant Chinese exploding into rage in response to their government’s ‘zero COVID’ policy.

    Much of the unrest blew up in response to an incident in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, where at least 10 people, some say up to 40, were killed during an apartment fire because lockdown rules stopped residents from fleeing the burning building.

    Most of the city’s residents have been prevented from leaving their homes for over 100 days as a result of the draconian rules, which are still in place nearly three years after the pandemic began.

    With Beijing now trying to contain what some are calling the most serious mass uprising since Tiananmen Square, Apple is apparently helping them to crush dissent.

    Earlier this month, Apple restricted the use of AirDrop in China, which protesters had been using to evade censorship.

    AirDrop allows local connections between devices, meaning it cannot be monitored or censored by local authorities.

    However, Apple launched an update to the app in China that restricted usage to just 10 minutes, making it harder for protesters to communicate with other activists, as well as send messages nearby bystanders and tourists.

    AirDrop was also being used by protesters in Hong Kong, who were brutally suppressed by the CCP during months of unrest in 2019.

    The smartphone company chose to roll out the new “feature” in China only right as the country experienced its biggest demonstrations in decades, which some would suggest is more than just a coincidence.

    “Apple has helped Beijing to suppress public dissent multiple times, mostly by complying with its requests to remove apps used by protestors for information and communication,” reports Reclaim the Net.

    “Apple also helps the Chinese Communist Party prevent users from remaining private by banning VPNs in the region.”

    The development coincides with Elon Musk revealing that Apple is threatening to remove Twitter from the app store entirely over its support for – God forbid – free speech.

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    Elon Musk To Build “Alternative Phone” If Apple And Google Boot Twitter From App Stores

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    Zero Hedge

    Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency

    There’s been speculation over app stores potentially de-platforming Twitter following new owner Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech. Musk unveiled a simple plan Friday night if Apple or Google decides to boot the social media platform from their stores: build a smartphone. And how hard could that be? 

    Musk responded to conservative commentator Liz Wheeler, who tweeted: “If Apple & Google boot Twitter from their app stores, @elonmusk should produce his own smartphone. Half the country would happily ditch the biased, snooping iPhone & Android. The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly little smartphone should be easy, right?” 

    “I certainly hope it does not come to that,” Musk told Wheeler, “but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.”

    Elon Musk Announces General Amnesty BUT Twitter T&C’s Say ‘Denial Of Violent Events’ Will Not Be Tolerated

    Speculation over app stores potentially targeting Twitter emerged after Apple executive Phil Schiller deactivated his Twitter account for no reason days after former President Trump’s account was restored on the platform. 

    Then in a New York Times op-ed, the former head of trust and safety at Twitter, Yoel Roth, wrote Twitter under Musk’s leadership is at risk of being removed from Apple and Google’s app stores if they fail to follow guidelines:

    “Failure to adhere to Apple’s and Google’s guidelines would be catastrophic, risking Twitter’s expulsion from their app stores and making it more difficult for billions of potential users to get Twitter’s services. This gives Apple and Google enormous power to shape the decisions Twitter makes,” Roth said.

    He explained, “as I departed the company, the calls from the app review teams had already begun.”

    How hard could it be for the world’s richest person to have a team of Tesla engineers build a smartphone? They already mount cellular-connected giant iPad-like screens in all Tesla vehicles on the dashboard of vehicles. 

    If Apple or Google don’t boot Twitter from their app stores, either way, Wheeler gave Musk an idea. How long until Musk unveils the Tesla smartphone and asks for $100 deposits? 

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