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7 Aug 2023

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Iraq Bans Telegram as Social Media Continue to Attract Govt Attention

Iraq's Ministry of Communications has banned the Telegram messaging app, stating in an official release that said it had requested of TikTok that "platforms that leak the data of the official state institutions and the personal data of citizens...but the company did not respond and did not interact with any of these requests."

The statement added, “the Ministry of Communications affirms its respect for citizens' rights to freedom of expression and communication, without prejudice to the security of the state and its institutions.”

Iraq is described as an “Islamic, democratic” state with a single parliamentary body and a complex process to produce a Prime Minister and President. Its most recent election was in 2021. About 75% of the nation's 43 million people have Internet access, and there are a reported 25.5 million users of social media.

Its Telegram ban is not a highly consequential event for the world, but can serve as an example of state restrictions on social media to be emulated by others. China, for example, long ago built its infamous “Great Firewall,” and the inane, popular TikTok social-media app has been banned at one time or another in India, Indonesia, Taiwan (due to security concerns regarding China), Iran, Pakistan, and Jordan. TikTok is widely disallowed in federal offices in many European countries, and is frequently the subject of proposed societal bans in the United States.

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