Telegram was pulled because of child pornography, says Apple's Phil Schiller

Posted:
in iPhone
The "inappropriate content" that saw Telegram briefly disappear from the App Store last week was child pornography, Apple's marketing chief explained in response to a customer question.




"The Telegram apps were taken down off the App Store because the App Store team was alerted to illegal content, specifically child pornography, in the apps," said Phil Schiller in an email seen by 9to5Mac. "After verifying the existence of the illegal content the team took the apps down from the store, alerted the developer, and notified the proper authorities, including the NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)."

Apple worked with the Telegram team to get the pornography removed and the people who posted it banned, Schiller continued. Telegram and Telegram X were only allowed back once this was completed and controls were put in place to prevent a repeat incident.

"We will never allow illegal content to be distributed by apps in the App Store and we will take swift action whenever we learn of such activity. Most of all, we have zero tolerance for any activity that puts children at risk -- child pornography is at the top of the list of what must never occur. It is evil, illegal, and immoral," Schiller added.

It's unclear what safeguards might have been put in place. Telegram is a mainly personal messaging app, though it does allow group chats with up to 30,000 people. One possibility is that Apple and Telegram took steps to block any groups that might be sharing child pornography.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    ivanhjbdragoncornchipdeepinsider
  • Reply 2 of 30
    It's mis-understood piece of the app, telegram has encrypted end-to-end messaging but that's not the default for one-to-one messages or group chats. So I'm guessing there was a group chat being used for this sort of thing. Telegram has moderated such illegal activity in the past (there was a brouhaha a couple years back about possibly ISIS using a group chat(s) for propaganda and recruitment that was reviewed by telegram team and removed), so not sure why Apple stepped in this time, specifically by pulling the app instead of reaching out to Telegram first. That being said. I applaud the effort to stop this as soon as possible.
    racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    lol. They used a 3rd party plugin. Those are not encrypted.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    For those folks wondering ,a 3rd party plugin was most likely used to spread the child porn.Those I do not think are encrypted.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 30
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,105member
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    It was a plug-in for Telegram that provided access to the illegal content. 
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 6 of 30
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    It was a plug-in for Telegram that provided access to the illegal content. 

    and where is the illegal content kept and why was apple employees looking at it. Have to wonder about those employees. Maybe Apple hires people in India to look for images which are not allowed.Facebook does this, they have rooms full of indian workers which look at all the pictures you all post and determine if they are acceptable to others to view.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 7 of 30
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,105member
    maestro64 said:
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    It was a plug-in for Telegram that provided access to the illegal content. 

    and where is the illegal content kept and why was apple employees looking at it. Have to wonder about those employees. Maybe Apple hires people in India to look for images which are not allowed.Facebook does this, they have rooms full of indian works which look at all the pictures you all post and determine if they are acceptable to others to view.
    It doesn't sound like anyone at Apple found it. They were alerted according to the article. I assume once Apple was alerted, they looked to verify the illegal content and then pulled the app. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 30
    NemWanNemWan Posts: 111member
    "It is evil, illegal, and immoral." Goes without saying? In 2018 I guess not.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,414member
    maestro64 said:
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    It was a plug-in for Telegram that provided access to the illegal content. 

    and where is the illegal content kept and why was apple employees looking at it. Have to wonder about those employees. Maybe Apple hires people in India to look for images which are not allowed.Facebook does this, they have rooms full of indian works which look at all the pictures you all post and determine if they are acceptable to others to view.
    It doesn't sound like anyone at Apple found it. They were alerted according to the article. I assume once Apple was alerted, they looked to verify the illegal content and then pulled the app. 

    which goes back to my question where is the illegal content, it is not stored in the app, if someone posting it somewhere and can be view by the app, how it is the apps fault, does that mean safari can be pulled if someone access a website with illegal content. I get the plug in piece, but how do the plug-ins get installed. It kind of sounding like Apple is becoming the moral compass for the internet and if someone says they found an app allows someone to break the law then Apple will pull the app. I know Apple pulls some games since they had images within the game which were objectionable. This is not sounding like the same thing.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    maestro64 said:
    maestro64 said:
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    It was a plug-in for Telegram that provided access to the illegal content. 

    and where is the illegal content kept and why was apple employees looking at it. Have to wonder about those employees. Maybe Apple hires people in India to look for images which are not allowed.Facebook does this, they have rooms full of indian works which look at all the pictures you all post and determine if they are acceptable to others to view.
    It doesn't sound like anyone at Apple found it. They were alerted according to the article. I assume once Apple was alerted, they looked to verify the illegal content and then pulled the app. 

    which goes back to my question where is the illegal content, it is not stored in the app, if someone posting it somewhere and can be view by the app, how it is the apps fault, does that mean safari can be pulled if someone access a website with illegal content. I get the plug in piece, but how do the plug-ins get installed. It kind of sounding like Apple is becoming the moral compass for the internet and if someone says they found an app allows someone to break the law then Apple will pull the app. I know Apple pulls some games since they had images within the game which were objectionable. This is not sounding like the same thing.
    Man, you are way overthinking this.  It doesn't have to be the "apps fault."  Apple did what they are legally and morally required to do when they were alerted to child pornography being transmitted via an app on their system.  It's also bizarre that you would chide Apple for taking swift action against child pornography.  Very bizarre indeed to complain they "are becoming the moral compass for the internet" for stopping this group of child pornographers from accessing an iOS app.
    macxpresscharlesgresmejsricStrangeDaysbestkeptsecretwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 30
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,704member
    maestro64 said:
    maestro64 said:
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    It was a plug-in for Telegram that provided access to the illegal content. 

    and where is the illegal content kept and why was apple employees looking at it. Have to wonder about those employees. Maybe Apple hires people in India to look for images which are not allowed.Facebook does this, they have rooms full of indian works which look at all the pictures you all post and determine if they are acceptable to others to view.
    It doesn't sound like anyone at Apple found it. They were alerted according to the article. I assume once Apple was alerted, they looked to verify the illegal content and then pulled the app. 

    which goes back to my question where is the illegal content, it is not stored in the app, if someone posting it somewhere and can be view by the app, how it is the apps fault, does that mean safari can be pulled if someone access a website with illegal content. I get the plug in piece, but how do the plug-ins get installed. It kind of sounding like Apple is becoming the moral compass for the internet and if someone says they found an app allows someone to break the law then Apple will pull the app. I know Apple pulls some games since they had images within the game which were objectionable. This is not sounding like the same thing.
    Why are you upset that Apple blocked exchanging child pornography via an app? Seems like a weird thing to be upset about. 
    NotsofastcharlesgresmejsricStrangeDaysmacseekerfastasleepboltsfan17watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 12 of 30
    ivanhivanh Posts: 267member
    Apple should stop acting as a BigBrother. Let the courts determine what is illegal in their own countries. The Telegram app itself has nothing wrong. 
    kingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 13 of 30
    "The Telegram apps were taken down off the App Store because the App Store team was alerted to illegal content, specifically child pornography, in the apps,"

    So if I downloaded the app, I was getting child porn?  I don't think so.  There may be content that was accessible by using the app, but the illegal content wasn't IN the app.

    That statement is just all sorts of wrong.
    jbdragondeepinsidermike54kingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 14 of 30
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    Stop spreading FUD -- there are no Apple backdoors. They've said this time and time again, and they'd be crucified if they were lying.

    If you'd spent 10 seconds doing research you'd find the facts of the Weiner case have nothing to do with what you claimed. Wiener was using other tools for his illegal sexting with the minor:

    "The 15-year-old girl initially contacted Weiner through a direct message on Twitter in January 2016. Weiner and the girl continued to communicate on social media sites, including Facebook Messenger, Skype, Kik, Confide and Snapchat. ... Weiner asked the teen to 'engage in sexually explicit conduct via Skype and Snapchat, where her body was on display, and where she was asked to sexually perform for him'"

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/politics/anthony-weiner-sentencing/index.html

    ...facts, what a concept, huh?

    As for Telegram, I'm sure somebody tipped off somebody.
    edited February 2018 cornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 30

    maestro64 said:
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    It was a plug-in for Telegram that provided access to the illegal content. 

    and where is the illegal content kept and why was apple employees looking at it. Have to wonder about those employees. Maybe Apple hires people in India to look for images which are not allowed.Facebook does this, they have rooms full of indian workers which look at all the pictures you all post and determine if they are acceptable to others to view.
    Nope, you're just making stuff up now. You should take up creative writing rather than put those skills into posts here.
    cornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 16 of 30

    ivanh said:
    Apple should stop acting as a BigBrother. Let the courts determine what is illegal in their own countries. The Telegram app itself has nothing wrong. 
    Are you fucking serious? Apple has clear rules for their app store -- no app shall be used to distribute child pornography. Period. If this is upsetting to you then you're fucked in the head. (And note that Safari doesn't distribute web content, it browses it, which is why they wouldn't pull Safari if someone used it to browse child porn).

    Go peddle your FUD nonsense on an Android site, as you're clearly from outer space on every discussion you've contributed to here. You hate Apple, we get it. Tell your handlers you tried but no one on AI wanted to listen to you.
    edited February 2018 mknelsoncornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 17 of 30

    ivanh said:
    Apple should stop acting as a BigBrother. Let the courts determine what is illegal in their own countries. The Telegram app itself has nothing wrong. 
    Are you fucking serious? Apple has clear rules for their app store -- no app shall be used to distribute child pornography. Period. If this is upsetting to you then you're fucked in the head. (And note that Safari doesn't distribute web content, it browses it, which is why they wouldn't pull Safari if someone used it to browse child porn).

    Go peddle your FUD nonsense on an Android site, as you're clearly from outer space on every discussion you've contributed to here. You hate Apple, we get it. Tell your handlers you tried but no one on AI wanted to listen to you.
    Just for the sake of argument, given what you state, if I email someone child porn pictures using the Outlook app that I got from the app store, should Apple remove the Outlook app?  What about any other email app or messaging app that can actually SEND content?  
    deepinsideravon b7mike54beowulfschmidtkingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 18 of 30
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,964member
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    Stop spreading FUD -- there are no Apple backdoors. They've said this time and time again, and they'd be crucified if they were lying.

    If you'd spent 10 seconds doing research you'd find the facts of the Weiner case have nothing to do with what you claimed. Wiener was using other tools for his illegal sexting with the minor:

    "The 15-year-old girl initially contacted Weiner through a direct message on Twitter in January 2016. Weiner and the girl continued to communicate on social media sites, including Facebook Messenger, Skype, Kik, Confide and Snapchat. ... Weiner asked the teen to 'engage in sexually explicit conduct via Skype and Snapchat, where her body was on display, and where she was asked to sexually perform for him'"

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/politics/anthony-weiner-sentencing/index.html

    ...facts, what a concept, huh?

    As for Telegram, I'm sure somebody tipped off somebody.

    Did Apple take any of those other apps off like twitter, facebook, etc?  Not that I'm aware of.  Seems like there was nothing wrong with thus messaging app either, but some 3rd party plugin. So I still don't get why the app was pulled like it was. Ban the plugin.  Get the people passing around the pictures since it wasn't encrypted, problem solved.
    deepinsider
  • Reply 19 of 30
    jbdragon said:
    maestro64 said:
    okay, do not use telegram, and not 100% sure what it does, but how did Apple determine that users were posting stuff they should not have been, the app says it is encrypted communications. Does Apple have back door? also does Apple monitor its own messaging app for illegal content that user my be transmitting to one another? They obviously did not catch Anthony Wiener.
    Stop spreading FUD -- there are no Apple backdoors. They've said this time and time again, and they'd be crucified if they were lying.

    If you'd spent 10 seconds doing research you'd find the facts of the Weiner case have nothing to do with what you claimed. Wiener was using other tools for his illegal sexting with the minor:

    "The 15-year-old girl initially contacted Weiner through a direct message on Twitter in January 2016. Weiner and the girl continued to communicate on social media sites, including Facebook Messenger, Skype, Kik, Confide and Snapchat. ... Weiner asked the teen to 'engage in sexually explicit conduct via Skype and Snapchat, where her body was on display, and where she was asked to sexually perform for him'"

    https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/politics/anthony-weiner-sentencing/index.html

    ...facts, what a concept, huh?

    As for Telegram, I'm sure somebody tipped off somebody.

    Did Apple take any of those other apps off like twitter, facebook, etc?  Not that I'm aware of.  Seems like there was nothing wrong with thus messaging app either, but some 3rd party plugin. So I still don't get why the app was pulled like it was. Ban the plugin.  Get the people passing around the pictures since it wasn't encrypted, problem solved.
    In your zeal to blame Apple, I guess you guys keep overlooking this fact -- that Apple pulled the apps until they'd added the ability to report child pornographers:

    "Telegram and Telegram X were only allowed back once this was completed and controls were put in place to prevent a repeat incident."

    ...yes, big bad Apple, requiring app devs to implement some tools to reduce or report child pornographers. Twitter and Facebook already have tools to reduce and report sex criminals. 

    You guys are whack.
    edited February 2018 cornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 20 of 30
    NemWan said:
    "It is evil, illegal, and immoral." Goes without saying? In 2018 I guess not.
    I even though there is almost no if any legal Blowback against apple, I appreciate that Apple will step in morals cases like this. What makes this hard is where is that line and to enforce it fairly across the board. 

    Bitcoin is tied to huge amounts of illegal activities. But you can still have a bitcoin wallet on the app store. Discord has issues with child porn as well, but that is not taken down. Snapchat is up, but we can guess how that could be used for evil. 

    I think Apple should be doing this, but again give the developers a chance to Address these issues. 
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