In 2009, WhatsApp was released. It had amazing features like Texting, VOIP calling, and other. It revolutionized the way of communicating with your relatives, friends and loved ones. Even though this made it easier to connect to people, some countries have banned the app completely. This leaves the question that why WhatsApp and is banned or banned.
Some believe that the restrictions on the application are because of national security concerns. Other than that, the WhatsApp ban could be due to governments trying to support the local telecommunication companies.
WhatsApp is banned in over 7 countries. This is a list of countries in which WhatsApp is banned. Are you intrigued about what countries have banned such a game-changing application? keep reading to find out.
List of Countries Where WhatsApp Is Banned
Following are the countries that have banned WhatsApp. It is banned for their residents and within the jurisdiction, they will not be able to use it without getting in trouble. However, the consequences are not disclosed.
The Chinese government has banned WhatsApp during campaigns related to politics. Mainly because of the high encryption features and censorship reasons. The ban is however temporary, the ban is usually lifted within a few months.
The Chinese authorities have a history of blocking internet services, if not blocking they will slow it down to such extent that using it will not be an option. This censorship has forced users to switch to communications methods that function smoothly and quickly but they can be easily monitored by the Chinese authorities.
It seems like that the Chinese authorities want to log information and since WhatsApp is well known among cryptographers for its encryption. It keeps getting banned in China.
North Korea has blocked WhatsApp, the most popular instant messaging application. WhatsApp was an e2e encrypted messaging platform but after this ban, it can only be accessed through a VPN.
According to an interview from a reputable source, a local came forward and said the local authorities were spreading information that the block was from the side of the company. However, there was no information validating that statement from the authorities was provided.
Martyn Williams who operates the North Korea Tech website stated that “if the local authorities banned the application it is because they want users to communicate through unencrypted channels”. This will make it easier for the government to keep records of the communication.
Iran’s government has banned WhatsApp a couple of times. Internet censorship regulation is complicated. It involves a wide range of audience. The government, judiciary, religious groups, political parties and businesses all put pressure to block or unblock social media applications.
Even though Iran takes development in the internet sector very seriously, it is observed that the bans are due to political pressure. However, there’s no answer to why the ban is actually implemented.
The political condition of Syria has always been the reason of banning applications such as WhatsApp. Rebels use the encryption of WhatsApp as their main weapon to plot protests against the government which is why Syria has to ban WhatsApp.
Rebels and Journalists are trying to find new ways in order to keep track and organize information on the government and other institutions and different kind of activities. In order to stay secure keep the political situation intact, Syria opts for the ban on social media applications.
Qatar is not different from any of those countries that are mentioned above. The government of Qatar has banned WhatsApp from being used. This is because of The Telecommunication Law 34 of 2006 makes it illegal for any person or any organization to provide telecommunication services to the public without a license issued by ictQATAR.
Even though Qatar believes in providing cutting-edge technologies to its residents, It is such a shame that you are deprived of using such a game-changing application.
United Arab Emirates
UAE’s reason to ban WhatsApp and other social media applications that provide VOIP services is to promote the different kinds of telecommunication companies working in UAE. This ban leads to the increment in overall revenue in UAE and helps the economy.
UAE is known to provide shelter and employment to people with different nationalities, such as Indians, Pakistanis, and the residents of Bangladesh. Majority of them use free VOIP services to connect with their families and friends but due to the ban, they can’t which is quite the pain for working residents.
How to Avoid the WhatsApp Ban?
WhatsApp and other VOIP services changed the game when it came to connecting up with your family and friends. Living in countries miles away from your family and friends and not being able to connect with them is very hard to come up with.
There’s a solution available for that, you can bypass WhatsApp restrictions and still use it to contact your family by using a software client known as VPN. A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is in charge of securing your network and encrypting the traffic. It means covering your real IP address with that provided by the VPN service.
For your ease, we’ve compiled a list of VPNs that are industry leading and 100% secure for you to check out. These VPNs will serve you with whatever task you throw at them.
- Private Internet Access (PIA)
These VPNs are easy to set up and use, they also offer 24/7 customer service which will allow you to fix any problem.
WhatsApp is one of the top VOIP application with well above 100,000. Residents of these countries cannot enjoy the features of WhatsApp since it is banned in there. However, it doesn’t mean that the application is banned forever. The government can lift the ban when it feels like. Until then you can use other VOIP applications available, that are free.
There’s another option to lift the restrictions while using WhatsApp or any other application in that country. VPN can encrypt your data, change your physical location by routing your traffic where WhatsApp isn’t blocked. This, however, is a paid service. In the end, it is up to you and what you opt for.