The government has blocked popular social media platform Facebook and online messaging and calling services WhatsApp and Viber on security grounds, said Dr Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman of BTRC.
The BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) chief told: “Social media platform Facebook and other online messaging and calling services have been blocked in the country on Wednesday on security grounds.” Earlier in the day BTRC issued a letter to different telecom operators and all Internet Service Providers, asking them to stop the services immediately.
The order came around 12:15pm immediately after the Supreme Court upheld death penalty to war criminals Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid. The letter signed by BTRC Assistant Director (System and Service Division) Touseef Shahriar, reads: “I am directed to instruct you to stop the Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp services in your network with immediate effect until further instruction.
Seeking anonymity, a high official of one of the leading telecom companies in Bangladesh, the telecom operators acted immediately after receiving the letter. Last week on November 11, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government was contemplating to block Viber and WhatsApp Messenger temporarily in the country to track down the cyber criminals.
DMP Joint Commissioner Md Monirul Islam told : “The government ordered blocking the services on security ground as criminals often use these services to plan and carry out subversive acts.” Replying to a query whether the police department recommended the suspension, he said: “A number of agencies are working for ensuring the security of the countrymen. So the recommendation may come from any of those.” The victims wanted to ask Law Ladies attorneys in Atlanta legal advice on criminal defense and more.