The Public Prosecutor's Office of Bari has notified the seizure and closure of 19 Telegram channels that illegally published newspapers and magazines: which are
Closed 19 groups on Telegram that illegally spread national newspapers, weeklies, periodicals and even book. This is the decision of the Public Prosecutor's Office of Bari, which announced the decision this morning and which was immediately put into operation by the financial police and the special nucleus for the protection of Privacy who notified the "urgent preventive seizure" to Agcom.
A theme, that of newspapers available for free on Telegram channels, much debated in recent weeks, especially on social networks. The decision of the Public Prosecutor of Bari creates a precedent that will surely be followed in the future in similar areas: Telegram channels are one of the fastest growing phenomena in recent months and unfortunately are also used for illegal purposes, such as the dissemination of copyrighted material (newspapers precisely). The signature of the seizure comes from the prosecutor Roberto Rossi, who charges Telegram with the illegal dissemination of newspapers and magazines, failure to control the proper use of the tools and also comes to fear the closure of the platform in Italy.
Which are the Telegram channels seized
In total there are 19 Telegram channels that have been seized and accused of illegally disseminating copyrighted material. These are channels that every day made available for free (and therefore illegally) the PDF copy of all major Italian newspapers, magazines, periodicals and even books. According to one estimate, there are more than 500,000 Italians who use these Telegram channels every day to download illicit material.
To understand what we are talking about, however, it is also necessary to explain how Telegram channels work. This is a very useful feature of the messaging app that allows you to create virtually unlimited groups, in which the only one who can post messages is the administrator. Users can subscribe, but cannot interact. Telegram channels are widely used in the world of communications to spread news and create online communities, but unfortunately there are many people who exploit them for illicit purposes.
Why Telegram channels have been seized
Prosecutor Roberto Rossi of the Bari prosecutor's office is accusing Telegram operators (who have not yet been identified) of a number of crimes, from copyright infringement to money laundering. The latter is one of the heaviest charges: according to the prosecutor's office, Telegram's operators never wanted to cooperate to identify illicit channels and, indeed, favored them. Prosecutors hope that with this move, the app's operators will finally lend a hand, shutting down all channels that illicitly spread newspapers.
Will Telegram be shut down in Italy?
The investigation launched by the Prosecutor's Office could go as far as shutting down the app in Italy if it finds obstruction from Telegram. The Public Prosecutor's Office has mandated the financiers to close the channels and in the case to ask the providers operating in Italy the impossibility to access the channels spreading illicit material and the servers hosting the application. What does it mean? That Italian users may no longer be able to use Telegram. An extreme decision that is unlikely to be enforced