Bangladesh has blocked five leading mobile messaging and VoIP applications, including WhatsApp and Viber, over “security concerns”, officials said on Tuesday.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has shut off traffic to Viber, Tango, WhatsApp, mypeople and Line. BTRC Secretary Mohammed Sarwar Alam told bdnews24.com: "We've asked for temporarily blocking these applications at the home ministry's request."
Several International Internet Gateway institutions said they were ordered to block the messaging applications till the midnight of January 21, according to media reports.
The bdnews24 news portal quoted intelligence and security agencies as saying that terrorists and militants were using instant messaging applications to communicate as it was not possible to keep tabs on messages sent through such apps.
Ziaul Ahsan, Additional Director General of the Rapid Action Battalion, Bangladesh’s elite anti-terror unit, said his force had recommended the blocking of the messaging applications.
Some social networking sites, including Facebook, were under observation by security agencies as criminals had stopped using cell phones, the Daily Star newspaper quoted officials as saying.