The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) reported that the network measurement data has shown the blocked access of WhatsApp by the Chinese internet service providers on Saturday. Also people have been posting on Twitter, that WhatsApp became inaccessible since a week.
A long-time advisor to multinational corporations and leaders of China, Robert Lawrence Kuhn told reporters that, “The run-up period to a gathering is normally a time of greater restrictions of all kinds to assure that the critical Party Congress is held under ideal social conditions and is not disrupted.”
WhatsApp has been facing a number of disruptions since a month in China. When it was asked WhatsApp to comment on why these issues are happening in China, the company declined. There are plenty of social services including Google search, have been blocked in China. But, according to an applied cryptographer, Nadim Kobeissi from the Paris-based research firm ‘Symbolic Software’, now even WhatsApp’s text messages have been blocked strictly.
Kobeissi said in a statement that, “Essentially, it seems that what we initially monitored as censorship of WhatsApp’s photo, video and voice note sharing capabilities in July has now evolved to what appears to be consistent text messaging blocking and throttling across China. I think it took time for the Chinese firewall to adapt to this new protocol so that it could also target text messages. This is not the typical technical method in which the Chinese government censors something.”
China did not only step up censorship but also has closed a large number of churches with jailing a numerous human rights advocates, lawyers and activists for ethnic minorities since the past several years.