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Judge in Spain orders Telegram messaging service to be blocked

dpa international
A court in Madrid ordered the temporary blocking of the short message service Telegram in Spain on Sunday, citing a lawsuit from several companies claiming that Telegram was being used to violate copyright protections.

Several media companies had brought the lawsuit involving Telegram.

Consumer advocates in Spain, where there are several million Telegram users, criticized the measure as disproportionate.

However, Telegram was initially still accessible from Spain and, even if instituted, the ban could likely be circumvented with relative ease using protected network connections known as VPNs.

The court announced that Judge Santiago Pedraz had repeatedly requested administrative assistance from the authorities of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, where Telegram is registered, to no avail.

Authorities there had not cooperated in clarifying the identity of the owners of Telegram accounts from which copyrighted content had been illegally distributed.

In the judge’s view, temporary blocking of the entire Telegram service was therefore “necessary, appropriate and proportionate,” according to the court.

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