Technology Inceptions: Powerful Robots Helps in Faster Detection of Bridge Defects  |  Teacher Insights: Are you susceptible to persuasion?   |  Science Innovations: Mushrooms to help fight TB  |  Management lessons: How to Create Cool Brands and Stay Cool  |  Health Monitor: Honey Helps Increase Testosterone Levels in Males  |  Parent Interventions: Women Oncologists Skip Scientific Conference to Take Care of Children  |  Career News: Chinmaya University-CPPR Announce MA in Public Policy and Governance Course  |  Parent Interventions: Electrical zap to retrieve memory  |  Science Innovations: Laura Kreidberg: Trying to Spot the First Sign of Life Outside Earth  |  Parent Interventions: Don't Let Children Drink Too Much Juice, Sugar Water With Little Nutrients  |  Technology Inceptions: Low-Cost Tissue Freezing Device to Help In Breast Cancer Treatment  |  Science Innovations: Exomoons May Become Quasi-planets  |  Science Innovations: Blue Tongue Lizard Babies As Clever as Adults  |  Parent Interventions: Quality Sleep for Teen Health   |  Technology Inceptions: MIT Develops Artificial 'Muscles' Based on Fibers  |  
  • Pallikkutam Magazine
  • Companion Magazine
  • Mentor
  • Smart Board
  • Pallikkutam Publications

November 04, 2017 Saturday 03:32:29 PM IST

Afghanistan temporarily bans WhatsApp

Technology Inceptions

Kabul: In a move that can curb "freedom of expression", the Afghanistan government has asked several private telecommunication companies to suspend WhatsApp and Telegram instant messaging services in the country.

Although the apps, popular among the country's elite, were still working on private telecom operators on Friday, customers of Salaam Telecom, a government-owned service provider, reported that both apps had stopped working for them, The New York Times reported late Friday.

"It is wrong and illegal," Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, executive director of Nai, a group that campaigns for free speech, was quoted as saying. "According to the Constitution, freedom of expression is inviolable in Afghanistan. "WhatsApp and Telegram are tools of free speech -- if the government bans them, it means that tomorrow they could stand against media in Afghanistan too," he added.

The clarity on the reason for the temprory ban was not obtained but on Thursday, the deputy director of the telecoms regulatory authority told the BBC that the ban was due to "security concerns". WhatsApp and Telegram are often used by the Taliban and other militant groups to evade government surveillance, the report said.


An official from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said that the request on the 20-day ban had come from the National Directorate of Security, the country's intelligence agency.

The ministry said that the apps were being temporarily banned "to introduce a new kind of technology", because users had complained about the quality of WhatsApp's service. It also denied that the ban constituted a threat to freedom of expression. "WhatsApp and Telegram are just applications for contact and the sending of audio messages, and this does not affect freedom of speech," the ministry added.

Comments