Spain blocks Telegram, then unblocks it

On Friday, March 22, 2024, a Spanish National High Court judge ordered internet service providers (ISPs) in Spain to block access to Telegram, but this ruling was suspended on March 25.

The ruling was made in response to a complaint by Atresmedia, EGEDA, Mediaset, and Telefonica, some of the country’s most prominent media companies, that the privacy-focused messaging app is being used to distribute copyrighted content that belongs to them.

Judge Santiago Pedraz imposed a temporary block while authorities investigated this allegation. However, following criticism from consumer rights groups such as Facua(new window), he agreed to suspend the block pending a report from the Policía Nacional (National Police), which will also include an assessment of the impact such a ban will have on consumers.

What is Telegram?

Telegram is an instant messaging app known for its emphasis on privacy and security, with features such as self-destructing messages and secure channels. It allows users to send messages, images, videos, and files of any type and also supports bots for specific tasks. 

Telegram supports end-to-end encryption (E2EE), ensuring messages can only be read by their sender and  intended recipient(s). However, Telegram is often criticized for not making its messages E2EE by default, and group chats (text or voice) are not E2EE.

Learn more about Telegram(new window)

Of particular relevance to the media company’s complaint, Telegram users can create public and private channels that any number of other users can subscribe to. This feature has proved especially popular in repressive countries like Iran, where Telegram has over 40 million users despite government attempts to block the service. However, as these media companies allege, it could also be used to easily disseminate copyrighted material. 

How to access Telegram if it’s blocked in Spain

Although the block has now been suspended pending further investigation, it’s entirely possible that the Spanish government will reinstate it once further evidence has been gathered (and the impact on consumers is more fully understood). 

Even if Telegram ends up being banned in Spain, you can always access it with Proton VPN. The judge ordered Spanish ISPs to block the service, so to access it, you need only connect to a Proton VPN server outside Spain. 

Learn how internet censorship works and how Proton VPN can defeat it

Protect your privacy and security online
Get Proton VPN free

Related articles

What is AirTag stalking?
In an era of “smart devices” that often double as spy devices, AirTags are tracking tools that are open about their function and can be vital in helping locate lost items (as anyone who has lost their car keys can attest to). However, as a recent cla
How to fix a "Your connection is not safe" error
As you surf the web using your browser, you’ll no doubt encounter websites that your browser will refuse to load, instead showing some variation of an error message, such as Your connection is not private or Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead. 
Your search history is a window into your inner life. Anyone with access to it knows what your hobbies and interests are, your sexual orientation and preferences, the things that worry you (for example your medical concerns), your political affiliati
how to flush dns blog
  • Privacy deep dives
A DNS cache is a record of all the websites you’ve visited over a set amount of time. Simply put, your DNS cache is a list of websites you visited in the past that’s stored on your device. Your computer uses it to speed up visits to those same websit
Is Temu legit?
  • Privacy basics
Temu has become an unavoidable brand. Unknown to most up to a year ago, the online retailer exploded onto the digital scene in the United States with lavish ads and a riveting social media campaign, and has started its takeover in Europe now, too. As
We examIne whether the controversial Chinese video platform is safe to use
  • Privacy basics
In this article, we take an in-depth look at whether the wildly popular social media platform TikTok is safe to use. Several countries recently banned government officials from using TikTok, and now the US House of Representatives has passed the Pro