Germany’s Federal Justice Office announced on Monday that it has fined the popular messaging app Telegram over $5 million for failing to comply with the country’s law.
The officials said in a statement that Telegram was fined 4.25 million euros for violating the Net Enforcement Act by not offering users a reporting mechanism, and another 875,000 euros for not naming an authorized person or an institution addressed in Germany for German courts and authorities to contact regarding legal documents
The Federal Office of Justice said that they had made repeated attempts to deliver hearing letters to Dubai headquarters of the messaging app since April last year, however, they failed to do so although they received support from authorities in the United Arab Emirates.
The authorities said that a German law firm claimed to be a representative of Telegram but their statement didn’t refute the allegations, therefore the fines have been imposed against the messaging app.
“The operators of messaging services and social networks bear a particular responsibility for acting against incitement to hatred and violence on their platforms,” said Justice Minister Marco Buschmann. “These legal requirements and this responsibility can’t be avoided by trying to be unreachable.“
The authorities added that the fines haven’t been finalized yet and Telegram has the right to appeal the decision.
The announcement comes months after a top German security official said that Telegram is becoming a ‘medium for radicalization’ and that some people use it to attack politicians, scientists and doctors for their involvement in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.