There has been a confirmation from the security experts that China has blocked popular messaging platform WhatsApp.
WhatsApp users in China have faced interruptions over the past few months. The reason was that the users were barred from sending or receiving images and videos. The current ban has been confirmed to apply to text messages as well.
New York Times stated that Nadim Kobeissi, an applied cryptographer confirmed the news at a Symbolic Software. He stated, “This is not the typical technical method in which the Chinese government censors something.”
He also informed that the ban might be because of maybe the developed censors that have been executed by China. China keeps itself very secured, making sure no interference.
Just so to be reminded, Facebook was much keen in entering China. There have been instances in the past where the country has blocked some of the important Google services, such as Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.
The report stated on New York Times said – video chats and other modes of file-sharing on WhatsApp were being blocked in mid-July but text messages were allowed to be sent. However, American tech companies like Microsoft’s Skype continue to run.
Again Apple’s FaceTime is fine to be used as even though it has end-to-end encryption, it does not let out secret codes to be exchanged between users which is used by WhatsApp to remove occurrence and termed ‘man-in-the-middle’.
On the other hand, Josh Chin, a political reporter for Wall Street Journal in Beijing, said on Twitter that the ban might be temporary.
As per The Verge, use of end-to-end encryption to secure chats could be the reason behind the ban. Also, WeChat (a competitor of WhatsApp) that provides the Chinese government user personal data could be the reason behind the ban, fearing the competition. WeChat has 963 million active users.
Nonetheless, there might be so many things behind this decision hence taken by the Chinese government, and that for sure not a good news to the most acclaimed social media network.