Afghan Government Moves to Block WhatsApp, Telegram Messaging Services

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Afghanistan's government has ordered a block on messaging services WhatsApp and Telegram, according to a letter sent to the country's internet providers that was widely shared over social media on Saturday.

    The letter was reportedly sent to Afghan ISPs after the country's National Directorate for Security ordered the move, in what some observers believe is an attempt to prevent use of the encrypted messaging services by the Taliban and other insurgent groups.

    According to Reuters, the letter by telecoms regulator ATRA, dated November 1 and signed by an official of the regulator, directed internet companies to block Telegram and Facebook's WhatsApp services "without delay" for a period of 20 days.

    However, the temporary ban does not yet appear to have been enforced, with both services said to be still working normally on Saturday on both state-owned operator Salaam and private service providers.


    Public use of mobile phones has boomed in Afghanistan since the Taliban was removed from power by a U.S-led campaign in 2001, while use of services like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Viber are popular among the country's politicians as well as the Taliban, which also maintains a sophisticated social media operation.

    However, civil rights groups and Afghan social media users have criticized the attempt to block the chat platforms. Many argue such a ban is unenforceable anyway because it can be circumvented by the use of virtual private networks (VPNs).

    Prominent newspaper editor Parwiz Kawa told the BBC that his country was finally an open society after years of censorship, therefore any ban on social media would not be tolerated.

    "The public reaction - including our own front page - is to resist," he said. "We can't tolerate any ban on social media or any censorship."

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Afghan Government Moves to Block WhatsApp, Telegram Messaging Services
     
  2. Avieshek Suspended

    Avieshek

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    #2
    Terrorists aren't that dumb. Hope, we all become Japan one day.
     
  3. JosephAW macrumors 68020

    JosephAW

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  4. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    #4
    iMessage, Signal, Wicker, any VPN, all still available. Oh noes!

    And I'm sure terrorists will adhere to your legislated mandate.
     
  5. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #5
    Hm.

    Bizarrely, and sadly, I can see both sides of this argument.
     
  6. marioguarneros macrumors regular

    marioguarneros

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    #6
    It’s not about the terrorists adhereing, it’s about the ISP’s blocking the services.
     
  7. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

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    #7
    It's just part of the Afghan "elites" trying to hold on to power. One of the most corrupt countries extant.
     
  8. DeepIn2U macrumors 603

    DeepIn2U

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    #8
    A very narrow view of Afghanistan. And any other country with a centralized government system where it's rulers are NOT held equally accountable for anything against he law ... isn't corrupt?
     
  9. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

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    #9
    A very informed view of Afghanistan, having spent three years in-country, working with a variety of "officials."

    Can you describe your on the ground experience there?
     
  10. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    #10
    VPN
     
  11. NBAasDOGG macrumors 6502

    NBAasDOGG

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    Well, that’s against our democracy.
    Time to invade ladies and gentlemen!!!
     
  12. Solomani macrumors 68040

    Solomani

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    They're not a democratic culture. It's quite rare for any majority Muslim country to even embrace free speech, especially with the loose mouth of the internets. Why is this even news? Even the co-called "most secular Islamic nation", Turkey, is not very secular, is not very democratic, and hardly embraces free speech….. just as Erdogan and his soldiers have arrested or murdered thousands of journalists in the past year.
     
  13. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

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  14. Solomani, Nov 4, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017

    Solomani macrumors 68040

    Solomani

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    #14
    I rest my tired feet on an ottoman.

    My persian likes dog food. Strange thing.

    And I like my mandarins sweet.
     
  15. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

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    #15
    I get some spicy snacks from my lazy Susan.
     
  16. Zenithal macrumors 604

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    Turkey was once a beacon of hope in the middle east. Look at them now.
     
  17. MacBH928 macrumors 68030

    MacBH928

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    #17
    a terrorist can buy and smmuggle weapons, train soldiers, but can not own a phone with a VPN service? hmmm...
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    In what capacity, might I ask?

    And, in your on the ground experience, did you never meet any non-corrupt individuals, or officials?

    I will say that the media in Afghanistan is unusually free and well informed, and the country - regions, and ethic groups are not all equally corrupt, and not all equally 'traditional'; different political and social cultures are found in different regions of that tragic country (and yes, I don't deny that much of their tragedy - though by no means all - is self-inflicted).
     
  19. B4U macrumors 68000

    B4U

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    #19
    The terrorist have won again by making the government screw over their law abiding citizens.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2017 ---
    What does Japan have to do with this?
     
  20. Zenithal macrumors 604

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  21. villicodelirant macrumors 6502

    villicodelirant

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    #21
    You do realize that most western countries fit that description, since there is a central government (duh) and elected officials usually have some form of immunity making them not "equally accountable"?
     
  22. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

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    #22
    I've spent time there in special warfare, MISO, and joint staff; my role was always rather fluid.

    I'm hard-pressed to think of anyone I worked with who was not "corrupt" as Westerners understand the term - let's just say that the ideas of the Magna Carta and 14th Amendment have not translated there.

    And while some of the tragedy is indeed self-inflicted, the British must bear much of the blame in the entire region.
     
  23. DeepIn2U macrumors 603

    DeepIn2U

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    #23
    I know that. You’d have gotten that if you read my post a little more attentively ;) you’re stating exactly my point ;) I guess my wording or grammar was way off.
     

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