Bangladesh authorities block Skype

Special Correspondent

For the second time in last two years, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has blocked the telecommunications application Skype. BTRC had blocked Skype from November 18th evening while its mobile applications had been blocked on November 19. This step was taken as the fugitive acting chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Tarique Rahman, a convicted accused of several cases interviewed nomination aspirants of the party from London through Skype. Bangladesh is scheduled to hold its next general election on December 30, 2018.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission had ordered all the international internet gateways, internet service providers and all mobile operators to snatch Skype connectivity. However other communication channels and applications such as Vibar, Imo, WhatsApp etc are open for video chat and wider range of video conferencing. Considering this, authorities may also bloc Vibar, Imo and WhatsApp. It may be mentioned here that, Skype is a telecommunications application software product that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, and smart watches via the internet and regular telephones. Skype additionally provides instant messaging services.

Earlier in 2015, Bangladesh authorities had blocked almost all the communication applications as a wholesale basis. At that time, Facebook also came under such actions.

Tarique Rahman along with his wife Dr. Zubaida Rahman and their only daughter had submitted their Bangladeshi passport with the UK Home Office in 2014. As per law, they are required to apply for a fresh passport with the Bangladesh High Commission in UK if they want to return to the country. United Kingdom has sheltered a number of fugitives from Bangladesh along with some notoriously corrupt individuals. It had also accepted black money as investment from several Bangladeshis.

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