Pakistan's Sindh to block Skype, WhatsApp

October 3, 2013
A Pakistani computer user at an internet cafe in Islamabad on May 19, 2010

Pakistan's southern Sindh province will block access to online communication networks including Skype and WhatsApp for three months in a bid to curb terrorism, officials said Thursday.

"We regret the inconvenience to the users but we are compelled to ban those networks for three months" in the province, Sindh's Information Minister Sharjeel Memon told AFP.

He said the decision to block cyber networks including Skype, WhatsApp, Tango and Viber was taken over security reasons, but refused to elaborate.

A police official said the online applications were frequently being used by "terrorists and criminal elements".

Security agencies have recently sought to crackdown on a relentless spate of targeted murders and extortions in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and financial hub.

A local official said that the provincial government will request the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block the networks in Sindh for three months.

The PTA is a state-run regulatory body that is authorised to restrict or impose bans on Internet usage.

Pakistan shutdown access to YouTube in September last year after the video sharing website failed to take down an anti-Islam film that had sparked furious protests across the Muslim world.

Explore further: Pakistan mobile networks suspended on security fears

Related Stories

Pakistan expected to unblock YouTube

December 29, 2012

Pakistan is expected to unblock access to the popular video sharing website YouTube on Saturday after taking measures to filter blasphemous material and pornography, a cabinet minister said.

Pakistan's 'cyberwar' for control of the web

September 12, 2013

In a dingy Internet cafe, Abdullah gets round the censors with one click and logs onto YouTube, officially banned for a year and at the heart of Pakistan's cyberwar for control of the web.

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.