Bangladesh has blocked five leading mobile messaging and VoIP applications, including WhatsApp and Viber, over ''security concerns''.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Tuesday shut off traffic to Viber, Tango, WhatsApp, mypeople and Line. BTRC Secretary Mohammed Sarwar Alam said, "We've asked for temporarily blocking these applications at the home ministry's request."
Several international internet gateways institutions said they were ordered to block the messaging applications till the midnight of 21 January.
The bdnews24 news portal quoted intelligence and security agencies as saying that militants were using instant messaging applications to communicate as it was not possible to keep tabs on messages sent through such apps.
Ziaul Ahsan, additional director general of the Rapid Action Battalion, Bangladesh's elite anti-terror unit, said his force had recommended the blocking of the messaging applications.
Some social networking sites, including Facebook, were under observation by security agencies as criminals had stopped using cell phones, the Daily Star newspaper quoted officials as saying.