Bangladesh government has blocked internet calling and messaging services Viber and Tango citing ‘security concerns’.
The International Internet Gateway (IIG) says the two free applications have been shut down since the early hours of Sunday on orders from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
IIG is responsible for channelling internet traffic in the country.
A senior BTRC official, who spoke to bdnews24.com on condition of anonymity, said, “The services have been blocked upon requests from intelligence agencies.”
According to him, the telecoms regulator initially plans to keep the services off until Sunday midnight, but that might extend if necessary.
Law-enforcing agencies earlier had said terrorists and militants were using applications like Viber and Tango to get in touch with each other.
They said phone calls can be tracked but it was not possible to keep a tab on communications made through such apps.
According to intelligence officials, saboteurs have been communicating with each other using these apps during the nationwide transport blockade enforced by the BNP and its allies.
RAB Additional Director General Ziaul Ahsan said they recommended blocking Viber and Tango considering these issues.
Many users have told bdnews24.com that they were unable to use Viber on their smartphones since Sunday morning.
However, Viber still is usable via Wi-Fi internet connection to send messages, and at times, make calls. But the application was unable to connect to the internet on mobile carriers.
BTRC also notified the embassies in Dhaka about the move.