Ukraine's top spy Budanov advocates for Telegram regulation, not mere influence or pressure

Telegram messenger
Telegram messenger

Telegram messenger is a huge problem for Ukraine, the head of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR), Kyrylo Budanov, said in an interview with the BBC on April 22.

He believes that it is necessary to regulate the messenger's activities at the legislative level.

The solution to the problem could be the registration of Telegram channels to understand who is behind a particular media outlet.

Read also: Telegram messenger is a threat to Ukraine’s national security — Budanov

"It's not a question of influence or pressure – that's not the issue" Budanov believes.

“If you want to prove your position – and someone may not like it, and this is normal in a democratic society – you have to take responsibility. Why are you afraid to say who you are?”

At the same time, the spymaster noted that blocking Telegram or closing anonymous channels is only a temporary solution to the problem, and anonymous users should be "forced to register."

Read also: Telegram poses multiple security threats to Ukraine – HUR

The intelligence officer noted that he himself uses Telegram only "to see how Russian society perceives certain events."

Asked whether intelligence officers are allowed to use Telegram or other social networks, Budanov stressed that it is prohibited.

"As a leader, I simply have access to all the world's media and resources," he added.

“​​That's why I look through them to see the results of our operations. Or high-profile events that, in our opinion, have or will have some impact.”

Potential Telegram ban in Ukraine

The Ukrainian parliament registered​​ on March 25 the bill "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Regulation of Information Sharing Platforms through which Mass Information is Disseminated."

Its initiators proposed to introduce regulation of the Telegram messenger.

One of the authors of the document, MP Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, chair of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech, said that the legislature could ban representatives of state and local government agencies from having official accounts on social media, which will be classified as non-transparent.

During the Kyiv Stratcom Forum 2024 on March 27, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Kyrylo Budanov, said that Telegram is a problem for Ukraine in terms of national security as the platform often has a destructive effect inside the country.

Read also: Disinformation watchdog alerts to rising tactic as Russia impersonates Ukrainian units on Telegram

Ukraine’s SBU security service spokesman Oleksandr Melnychenko said on March 28 that Telegram cooperates with Russia's state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor and the Federal Security Service (FSB). If the FSB needs to block any channel on the territory of the Russian Federation, "Telegram executes these instructions instantly."

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine