Internet Access Restored in Bangladesh after Shutdown

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Dhaka: For the first time in Bangladesh, access to the internet was denied for about 90 minutes on Wednesday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last week had hinted at clamping restrictions on the internet.

Users say they were unable to access the World Wide Web between 1:15pm and 2:30pm. But several social media networking sites remain inaccessible and some mobile phone apps are still not working.

Telecoms regulators BTRC’s Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood told that they had issued directives for closing down four mobile apps Facebook, Viber, Whatsapp and FB Messenger.

“But there was no directive to shut down the internet,” he said. “The internet could have been shut down as part of a process to ensure that these apps cannot be used in Bangladesh.”

The BTRC had once ordered cutting down internet upload speed but never suspended access to the Web. Wednesday’s development came shortly after the Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.

Prime Minister Hasina said on Nov 8 that the government was considering closing down some mobile apps. She said terrorists were using these apps to communicate between themselves evading the glare of security agencies.

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