Wednesday, May 25

BTRC blocks Facebook, Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp in Bangladesh



Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BTRC) has suspended the operation of social networking platform Facebook, Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp in Bangladesh for security reason.

BTRC Secretary Sarwar Alam on Wednesday said they issued the order following a directive from a higher level of the government.

Internet services, meanwhile, remained suspended across the country for over an hour from 1 pm fol-lowing the suspension of the operation of the four social networking and messaging platforms. The in-ternet services, however, resumed around 2:15 pm.

About the disruption in the internet services, Sarwar said, “The disruption in internet services might have occurred while blocking the four social networking platforms, but there was no BTRC directive in this regard,” he said.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the BTRC suspended the operation of the networking sites fol-lowing a request of the Home Ministry.

“Recently, several terrorist attacks were carried out in different countries, including France. We have information that some people are trying to destabilise the country following the Supreme Court verdict that upheld the death penalty of war criminals Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. That’s why we have asked the BTRC to suspend the operation of Facebook, Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp,” said the minister.

“All the networking platforms have been suspended temporarily. When we’ll see that there is no prob-lem in restoring the networking platforms then those will be reactivated,” said Asaduzzaman while talk-ing to reporters at the Secretariat.

Earlier on November 11, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told parliament that popular online messaging and calling services WhatsApp and Viber will be blocked temporarily, if needed, in order to arrest mili-tants and prevent terrorist activities in the country.