Bangladesh blocks Skype, Twitter and other apps over threats to national security

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By Larry Banks

Last month, the government of Bangladesh decided to block six well known social media apps, namely Facebook, Messenger, Line, WhatsApp, Viber, and Tango, due to “threats to national security”.

The decision came after a supreme court ruling that sentenced two opposition leaders to death since finding them responsible for crimes during the country’s 1971 war of independence. The Muslim majority country has been divided over the decision, with many citizens protesting strongly. Blocking access to such social media sites was widely regarded as a way to eliminate the possibility of mobilising the masses in protest.

On December 10th, regulators allowed access to Facebook once more, but the Dhaka Tribune now reports that the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has now expanded the ban, including Skype and Twitter.

The instructions were sent to telecom operators through email, with the ban in effect “immediately and until further notice”.

In the past, Bangladesh has seen fundamentalism raise its head in society. A number of bloggers and publishes have also been killed for their liberal views, with ISIS claiming responsibility.

There’s currently no word on when the website/app ban may be overturned.

SOURCE: Dhaka Tribune.

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