BTRC blocks Skype | The Daily Star
06:50 PM, November 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:25 PM, November 19, 2018

BTRC blocks Skype

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has blocked the telecommunications application Skype.com.

Several senior officials of the BTRC told The Daily Star that the telecom regulator blocked the Skype.com last night and its mobile application today.

The step was taken as BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, convicted accused of several cases including August 21 grenade attack, interviewed the nomination aspirants of the party from London through Skype, they said requesting to be unnamed.

The BTRC issued the order to all the international internet gateways, internet service providers, all mobile operators, they added.

A top office barrier of the Internet Service Provider Association of Bangladesh said after getting the order they have complied within a few hours and the country is now out of service of this communication tools.

“However other communication channels and applications are open for video chat and a wider range of video conferencing,” said the leader requesting anonymity.

WHAT IS SKYPE?

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, the government had blocked almost all the communication application as a wholesale basis including Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber and other applications immediately after the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict maintaining its previous ruling that upheld death penalty of two war criminals.

In August this year ICT and Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar said they will consider blocking any social media site like Facebook again and if needed internet could be also shut down to save the state and citizens of the country.

WHAT IS TARIQUE’S ROLE IN NOMINATION PROCESS?  

Through video conference, Tarique, who has been staying in London since 2008, on Sunday interviewed 540 nomination seekers from 72 constituencies of 16 districts in the two divisions at the BNP chief's Gulshan office.

Tarique, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison in two corruption cases and life imprisonment in the August 21 grenade attack, also interviewed the nomination aspirants today, on the second day of the nomination process of BNP.

The Awami League questioned his inclusion in the BNP nomination board and drew the Election Commission's attention to the issue.

WHY IS TARIQUE ‘TABOO’?

Tarique has been living in London for the last nine years.

Convicted in several cases (in absentia) including that of the sensational August 21 grenade attack, he does not have any valid Bangladeshi travel document.

He had handed over his passport to the UK Home Office almost four years ago.

The UK Home Office sent his passport to the Bangladesh High Commission. He has to apply for a new passport to return home, according to a UNB report.

Bangladesh government wants to bring Tarique back and face punishment he received in three separate cases, including the Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases.

Besides, the Supreme Court in an order had also barred media outlets and others to publicise any statement of Tarique Rahman.

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