A New Legal Battle for Telegram in Spain: The Impact and Purpose Behind the Temporary Suspension of the Messaging Platform

Judge Pedraz reverses decision and halts blocking of Telegram

Judge Santiago Pedraz has decided to request a report from the General Information Commissioner before blocking the Telegram messaging platform in Spain. The magistrate intends for the report to explain the exact characteristics of Telegram “as well as the impact that said temporary suspension may have on users.” The ruling of the National Court judge is a brief paragraph where he does not give any other details about the new deadlines or what to expect from this report from the General Information Commissioner’s Office.

The announcement of the suspension this Friday night caused an unprecedented stir among the more than eight million users that Telegram has in Spain. The technical difficulty for operators to block an application of this magnitude was extraordinary. Other countries have failed in their attempts to limit a platform like Telegram, with much content linked to dissident activities in undemocratic or directly illicit or illegal countries.

The initial measure to block Telegram was taken at the request of Mediaset, Atresmedia, and Movistar Plus. Media groups have denounced the application because, on some of its channels, content protected by copyright is shared. The judge of the National Court, Santiago Pedraz, issued an order so that, within three hours of receiving it, the operators suspended the resources associated with Telegram. This Monday morning, the operators consulted by EL PAÍS had not received any notification.

Telegram is an instant messaging application launched in 2013 and directed by Russian-born businessman Pavel Durov. Since its inception, it stood out as an alternative to WhatsApp for freedom and privacy of user refusing to share information with authorities as Meta does which made it communication channel used by dissidents in authoritarian regimes such as Russia or Iran where it has been used to organize protests

Judge Santiago Pedraz has decided to request a report from the General Information Commissioner before blocking the Telegram messaging platform in Spain. The magistrate intends for the report to explain the exact characteristics of Telegram “as well as the impact that said temporary suspension may have on users.” The ruling of the National Court judge…

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