Apple removed the Telegram chat app from its App Store last week because of the presence of child pornography.

9to5mac reports this on the basis of an e-mail in which Apple CEO Phil Schiller reacts to a reader of the website.

In it, Schiller reports that Apple had been informed about the presence of illegal content within the Telegram apps, specifically referring to child pornography.

The apps were taken offline shortly afterwards by the American tech giant. More than a day later, Telegram returned to the App Store.

Content removed

According to Schiller, the content has been removed by Telegram and the responsible users have received a ban. In addition, the developer of the chat app has “more checks” built in to prevent the distribution of such content, as can be read in the e-mail.

It is not clear how the content is distributed via Telegram. With Telegram, users can have private conversations, but also communicate via public groups.

Encryption

Calls via the chat app are not standard encrypted via so-called ‘end-to-end’ encryption, a form of encryption that ensures that the messages sent are only readable by the sender and recipient. This is not certain that the content has been shared in a public group.

Schiller merely mentions that Apple has been able to verify “the existence” of child pornography and then has enabled the authorities.