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Dhaka Tribune

Govt served legal notice for blocking social media

Update : 25 Nov 2015, 03:08 PM

A lawyer has served a legal notice to the government urging it to withdraw the restrictions on using social media websites and apps – Facebook, Viber and Whatsapp.

Lawyer Kumar Debul Dey sent the notice to the secretary of the Post and Telecommunication Ministry on Wednesday afternoon.

In the notice, Dey said he would take further legal steps if the government did not lift the ban on Facebook, Viber and Whatsapp within 24 hours.

According to the lawyer, the government’s decision to block social media was a violation of Article 39 of the Constitution of Bangladesh and also the Right to Information Act 2009.

On November 18, the government blocked the social networking platforms soon after the Supreme Court rejected review petitions filed by war criminals Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, both of whom were later executed.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) sent letters to the mobile phone operators and Internet services providers, ordering them to stop the services immediately.

Blocking of social media is not new in Bangladesh. On January 18 this year, BTRC blocked WhatsApp, Viber, Mypeople, Line and Tango for security reasons. The apps were unblocked four days later.

The latest move follows a warning by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who on November 11 said the government was contemplating on temporarily blocking Viber and WhatsApp to track cyber criminals.

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