Bangladesh blocks Facebook over Mohammed cartoons
After Pakistan, Bangladesh has now blocked social networking site Facebook for hosting pages featuring blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Mohammed and "obnoxious" images of the country's leaders.
No official announcement was made yet on the decision but the Daily Star newspaper quoted an unnamed Bangladesh
Telecommunication Regulatory Commission official as saying that "part of the reason (of blocking the network) is the
posting of some anti-religious and porn links by users across the globe".
"We have blocked all access to Facebook temporarily...It was done in line with a decision of government high-ups,"
the official said, adding some users had posted anti-Islamic content about Prophet Mohammed, which the government took seriously.
Earlier, the state-run BSS news agency had said that the BTRC action came hours after elite anti-crime Rapid
Action Battalion troops arrested a "cyber criminal" in the city on charges of posting "objectionable, disfigured and
satirical photographs" of several government leaders using different accounts.
Leaders of several right-wing Islamic groups have demanded a ban on the networking website for posting of materials hurting Muslim religious sentiments. Users suddenly were barred from logging into the network since 6:30pm last evening while in a late-night development a group of Dhaka University students took to the streets to protest the government's decision. The protesters dubbed the move radical and said the government should have blocked individual profiles rather than the entire site.
Pakistan has also banned Facebook over a page featuring a contest for "blasphemous" cartoons of the Prophet. According to a report, BTRC earlier directed internet data service handlers Mango Telecom and Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd to find a way to block antisocial contents posted by Facebookers.
But the two companies failed to fix the problem, which prompted the government to block the entire network.
"The access to Facebook will resume when the operators find a way to block such anti-social contents," the report
said quoting an official.
In March last year, the government blocked the video sharing website YouTube for hosting a recorded conversation
between the prime minister and army officers after the BDR carnage. More than 10 lakh people use the internet in