Federal Minister of the Interior brings Telegram switch-off into play

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The new Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser (SPD), wants to advocate a “European regulation” of the Telegram network. According to the security authorities, the chat service is used particularly often by right-wing extremists and conspiracy believers for mobilization purposes. In an interview with Die Zeit, Faeser therefore called for faster sanctions for misconduct and is considering more drastic measures such as the shutdown of Telegram – if attempts at regulation were unsuccessful.

In an interview with Die Zeit, Faeser said: “We are a constitutional state, but we cannot exclude that per se. Switching it off would be very serious and clearly the last resort. All other options must have been unsuccessful beforehand”. When asked how such a “shutdown” could be accomplished in practice, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior was unable to provide any technical or legal details in Berlin on Wednesday.

In order to force Telegram to cooperate, Faeser called for a “European solution” in an interview. She pointed out: “Today Telegram is in Dubai, tomorrow maybe on the Cayman Islands. We will need a lot of strength to enforce the law. As a German nation-state alone, we cannot do it.”

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann also wants to create a “common European legal framework”. In order to prosecute serious crimes, the Federal Minister of the Interior is also considering secretly infecting smartphones with Trojans and thus takes a different view than party leader Esken, as reported by Die Zeit.

Faeser and other political voices had already announced tougher action against Telegram at the end of 2021. SPD leader Saskia Esken is also calling for public groups on Telegram to be searched and tracked for criminal offenses.


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