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China Blocks WhatsApp, Says Messaging Service Should Stop Spread of "Illegal Information"

WhatsApp is now broadly disrupted in China including text messages which were going through despite China's censorship of the app beginning mid-July which only effected photographs and video chats. The move comes as Beijing prepares for the Communist Party's congress, which starts Oct. 18. Keith Bradsher reporting in the New York Times says: "WhatsApp was the last of Facebook products to still be available in mainland China; the company's main social media service has been blocked in China since 2009, and its Instagram image-sharing app is also unavailable. ... The blocking of WhatsApp text messages suggests that China's censors may have developed specialized software to interfere with such messages, which rely on an encryption technology..." According to Bloomberg News, China has accused Facebook's WhatsApp service of spreading "illegal information". "WhatsApp should take proactive measures to intercept information to do with violence and terror, the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement… China has the authority to tell institutions to take these measures without specifying details of content it considered illegal."

Related topics: Censorship, Mobile Internet, Policy & Regulation

 
   

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