Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Sep 2017 18:51 UTC
Internet & Networking

China has largely blocked the WhatsApp messaging app, the latest move by Beijing to step up surveillance ahead of a big Communist Party gathering next month.

The disabling in mainland China of the Facebook-owned app is a setback for the social media giant, whose chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has been pushing to re-enter the Chinese market, and has been studying the Chinese language intensively. WhatsApp was the last of Facebook products to still be available in mainland China; the company's main social media service has been blocked in China since 2009, and its Instagram image-sharing app is also unavailable.

WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, which the Chinese government (and western governments) don't like. Either WhatsApp would give China a backdoor, or China would block WhatsApp. This seems to indicate WhatsApp stuck to its encryption.

Let's see what happens to the other big western messaging service with end-to-end encryption still available in China: iMessage. We can safely assume that if iMessage isn't blocked soon, Apple caved, and gave China its backdoor.

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Double standards?
by karunko on Mon 25th Sep 2017 20:20 UTC
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I don't get it: is censorship good or bad? When China does it, it's bad. When Spain does it, it's bad. But, when some alt right web site gets kicked off the web then it's suddenly right?

Don't get me wrong: I have no sympathy at all for alt right (and in fact despise them and everything they stand for) but I still think that there is no good censorship. Or, as the EFF ( puts it:

"Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one — not the government and not private commercial enterprises— should decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t."


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