The Free Internet Project

July 2017

China blocks What's App

China partially blocked the popular messaging service called What's App, owned by Facebook.  China reportedly blocked photos and videos from being shared on the service, and, in some cases, even messages. 

The New York Times stated: "According to the analysis that we ran today on WhatsApp’s infrastructure, it seems that the Great Firewall is imposing censorship that selectively targets WhatsApp functionalities,' said Nadim Kobeissi, an applied cryptographer at Symbolic Software, a cryptography research start-up."  The conjecture was that the censorship was part of the government's leadup to the upcoming selections in Congress: "To complicate matters, the 19th Party Congress — where top leadership positions are determined — is just months away. The government puts an increased emphasis on stability in the run up to the event, which happens every five years, often leading to a tightening of internet controls."