WhatsApp May Be Blocked In China

The New York Times is reporting that popular messaging service WhatsApp appears t be blocked in China:

The blocks against WhatsApp originated with the government, according to a person familiar with the situation who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the disruption. Security experts also verified that the partial disruption in WhatsApp started with China’s internet filters.

“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.

This isn’t trivial as WhatsApp has something in the area of 1.2 billion users worldwide. Thus this is going to get a lot of attention. The question is, will the Chinese government care about the blowback from this? We’ll have to watch and see.

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