The owners of the offending channels are not identifiable, because the Telegram LLC company that manages the Dubai-based instant messaging application is “known for protecting users’ data and privacy”.
The Bari prosecutor’s office, the first to intervene after the complaint from the Italian Federation of Newspaper Publishers (Fieg) to the Authority for Communications Guarantees (Agcom), ordered the notification of an urgent preventive seizure against the email addresses “of the legal representatives of the company that manages Telegram “to” immediately inhibit access to channels or remove files “.
In the investigation conducted by the Guardia di Finanza, coordinated by Deputy Prosecutor Roberto Rossi, I am money laundering, receiving stolen goods, abusive access to an IT or telematic system, theft and violation of copyright law.
The investigations have found that “on the Telegram app, downloadable by anyone at no cost to smartphones, tablets and PCs, there are several channels that make available to subscribers, in real time, free of charge or by paying a few euros a month, daily, weekly, monthly, periodical magazines, in digital format, normally available only upon payment of a fee. ”
The unknown users “joined” the channels thus having access to the files, in exchange for the “transfer of personal data for advertising purposes”. “There is no doubt – says the prosecutor – that a phenomenon of the size of hundreds of millions of euros of damage presents a particular gravity because it affects the constitutional protection of freedom of thought, the basis of all democracy”.
On the criminal liability of the channel owners, of the subjects who would have inserted the pirated digital content, the Bari prosecutor states that “they are not identifiable in any way”, while on the company “there are no elements to be able to assert that the legal representatives of Telegram are aware of the illegal contents of the indicated channels “, but, the law reads,” since there has been knowledge of the provision, the legal representatives of Telegram will be aware of the possible prosecution of the crimes, with the possible obvious consequences “.
With the seizure, the manager in charge of Agcom, materially assigned to the operations of obscuring the illegitimate IT contents, was appointed as judicial police assistant.