BKA sets up a task force on Telegram

Status: 01/26/2022 2:51 p.m

Hate speech, threats or even calls to kill: The head of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Münch, calls the development at Telegram “worrying”. The authority has therefore set up a task force to prosecute criminal offenses on the messenger service.

The messenger service Telegram serves as a platform for corona deniers and conspiracy ideologues to spread their content and their calls for demonstrations. Calls for violence have increased in recent weeks. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has now set up its own task force to prosecute criminal offenses at Telegram.

The aim is to “identify and prosecute suspects,” said the authority in Wiesbaden. This is done in close coordination with the police forces of the federal states and the central office for combating cybercrime at the Frankfurt am Main public prosecutor’s office.

In addition, the BKA, together with the State Criminal Police Offices, is collecting the cooperation behavior of Telegram in the case of deletion suggestions and inventory data queries in the area of ​​​​politically motivated crime, the authority explained. The aim is to improve cooperation, especially in clarifying calls via Telegram to homicides and other serious crimes.

Münch: “worrying development”

“The corona pandemic in particular has contributed to people radicalizing themselves on Telegram, threatening others or even publishing calls for murder,” said BKA President Holger Münch. The rule of law must face this “worrying development” resolutely.

“We aim to work with Telegram, but we will also take action if Telegram does not cooperate,” Münch said.

Development into a medium of radicalization

According to the security authorities, Telegram is increasingly becoming a medium of radicalization. Politicians and experts from science and medicine who are publicly involved in overcoming the corona pandemic are particularly affected.

In mid-December, the police searched objects belonging to members of a chat group who had murder plans against the Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer (CDU), on Telegram.

According to the German Network Enforcement Act, the platform is obliged to delete this content. So far, however, this is not happening. The company based in the United Arab Emirates has not yet named the contact person required by law for Germany.

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