WhatsApp, A messaging app used across the globe, was partially blocked by Chinese filters, leaving many users unable to send Digital Content and some were unable to send texts.
The interruption of WhatsApp held the latest in a long line of big digital services going up against China’s “Great Firewall,” the country’s policy of internet filters and controls. Recently, the administration has appeared to improve its grip, an online crackdown fed by a comprehensive storm of politically delicate news, important issues, and a new cyber security law that permitted into effect last month.
Sites hosting popular international TV shows have had videos brought down, and tools employed to skirt the judges have faced more common disruptions. In an editorial, the spokesman of the country’s Communist Party criticized the Chinese internet company Tencent over a popular video game, calling it too addictive.
The news environment has increased the government’s online investigation. In recent weeks, the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo died in custody. A Chinese billionaire in the United States arrested senior leaders of graft, working his platform on Twitter. And Hong Kong celebrated the 20th anniversary of its handover to China.
To confuse matters, the 19th Party Congress where top management positions are set is just periods away. The administration puts an expanded importance on security in the run up to the event, which occurs every five years, often pointing to a tightening of internet controls.
WhatsApp, which had usually avoided major interruptions in China despite the full block of Facebook and Instagram, seems to have become a victim of those circumstances.
The blocks upon WhatsApp originated with the government, according to a person close to the situation who declined to be identified because they were not allowed to speak on the record about the interruption. Security authorities also confirmed that the partial interruption in WhatsApp began with China’s internet filters.
“According to the report that a Company ran today on WhatsApp’s foundation, it seems that the Great Firewall is forcing censorship that selectively targets WhatsApp functionalities,” said Nadim Kobeissi, a practiced cryptographer at Symbolic Software, a cryptography research start-up.
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