Telegram, a messaging app, has removed 78 ISIS-related conversation channels across 12 languages, the encrypted messaging service announced on Wednesday. The announcement comes amid ongoing scrutiny over app reportedly used by the Islamic State group prior to the Paris terror attacks last week.
The news came in a tweet Wednesday:
This week we blocked 78 ISIS-related channels across 12 languages. More info on our official channel: https://t.co/69Yhn2MCrK
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) November 18, 2015
ISIS’ use of Telegram, which claimed 50 million international users last year, has galvanized international officials who have spent years criticizing encryption. In the days since the Paris attack, though, security experts have examined the free app and now suggest Telegram is hardly the safe haven ISIS wanted. Users are still required to sign up with their mobile phone number, for instance, and the app then stores all a users’ contacts on Telegram’s servers (a dream for intelligence analysts trying to map a suspect’s connections).
“Telegram is error prone, has wonky homebrew encryption, leaks voluminous metadata, steals the address book, and is now known as a terrorist hangout,” wrote a respected security expert known as The Grugq. “I couldn’t possibly think of a worse combination for a safe messenger.”