Earlier China made headlines by banning WhatsApp in their country. Many users had tweeted that they were unable to use WhatsApp, it became invalid from September 19. Since then disruptions started in the country. China has not only targetted this particular app but for some reasons, it has blocked a number of apps which include Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. For those of you wondering since when is Facebook banned in China, well people it is banned since 2009.
Now after China it seems Afghanistan is following their footsteps and giving a jolt to Mark Zuckerberg. On Saturday Afghanistan has imposed a ban on WhatsApp for twenty days. This is an audacious move by the government which shows their attempt to restrain the freedom of expression from its citizens. The government has replied to this accusation and said, that the temporary ban is due to security concerns.
Along with WhatsApp the Afghanistan government also blocked a similar app named Telegram. This news surfaced in the New York Times on Friday. Salaam Telecom is the government-owned service provider which stopped the functioning of WhatsApp and Telegram. The citizens of Afghanistan consider this hasty decision spiteful and illegal.
Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Executive Director of Nai (a group that campaigns for free speech) quoted:
“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,”
A report from New York Tims said, “WhatsApp and Telegram are often used by the Taliban and other militant groups to evade government surveillance,”
If these apps are causing a threat and jeopardising the safety of the citizens banning is a good decision. But if the government is doing it to stop the freedom of speech that is unacceptable.
What do you guys think? Let us know.