Spain high court drops Telegram ban News
Spain high court drops Telegram ban

Spain’s National High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz ordered on Monday a temporary suspension of his own previous order to ban the social media app Telegram in Spain. 

Pedraz said that he issued the suspension pending a report from the General Information Commissioner’s Office on the instant messaging platform requesting information about Telegram’s characteristics and the impacts a ban would have on users. Telegram is reported to have a total of 8 million users in Spain out of a total population of 47 million.

However, Pedraz cited that the suspension of the ban was not about concerns with freedom of expression or information as protected by the Spanish Constitution or the European Convention of Human Rights but rather with concerns surrounding whether the measure was proportional. The ruling has been attacked on social media as a violation of the freedom of expression. 

Pedraz claims that the underlying ruling banning Telegram remains legitimate, claiming Article 13.2 of the Criminal Procedure Law allows for the provisional removal of illicit content or interruption of services offered while the investigation is ongoing. Pedraz has claimed “that it is known that said platform is also used for criminal activities” due to the enhanced privacy offerings provided by the platform. 

Telegram is known for not cooperating with public authorities, making it a tool popular with criminals and dissidents. Several countries, including China, Thailand, Pakistan and Cuba, have blocked it.