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DRC: Social networks to be blocked from midnight Sunday

Posted by technician on décembre 17th, 2016

Kabila’s failure to step aside has led to protests in which dozens have been killed [Kenny Katombe/Reuters]

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have ordered the blocking of social networking websites including Facebook and Twitter, as well as WhatsApp, before President Joseph Kabila’s mandate expires at midnight on Sunday.

The government order, sent to at least three internet providers and seen by AFP news agency on Thursday, will probably hamper the organisation of public protests against Kabila.


The letter from Congo’s Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ARPTC) requires the “temporary blocking of sharing of images, video and voice [data] over the network” from 11:59pm local time (2259GMT) on Sunday, but gave no reason for the orders.

It gave a non-exhaustive list of platforms subject to the block that includes Skype.

“In cases where partial blocking is not possible, you are required to block access to the relevant social networks entirely,” it said.

Text messages will continue to function as normal.

The government’s plan was first raised on Tuesday at a meeting of the ARPTC.

“The ARPTC verbally instructed us during the meeting to filter connections on social networks,” one internet company executive said, before adding the “trials are likely to be carried out overnight Thursday [into] Friday”.

“We will comply with what has been demanded,” said a manager at one of the affected internet providers. “It’s part of our [legal] obligations.”


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