In what appears to be an apparent problem for a messaging app called Signal, several platforms have reported that it was now blocked in China.
Signal Has Been Blocked in China
Since Mar. 15, some users from Beijing and other neighboring cities reported that the messaging app has been inaccessible, and it seems to have been proven true. They said that the app no longer allowed them to send any message, Endgadget reported.
Earlier this week, users complained that they could no longer access Signal, and the only instance that they can use it is when they open a VPN.
According to some Weibo users, "Signal has been walled," and this meant that China had blocked third-party apps like Facebook, Telegram, Whatsapp, and other news sites as well.
Meanwhile, the app's official website was said to be inaccessible on Mar. 16, as per Greatfire.org, a team assigned to handle censorship issues of various apps. This made the users speculate on the possible cause of the blockage, but the company apparently did not comment on the question.
When it comes to security, the history of China can be traced back to its strict implementation in its applications. Signal, the blocked app, has been a popular tool for common users and journalists, advocates, and other individuals with such related works.
Last January, Elon Musk told his followers that they should download Signal. A few days later, the messaging app saw a surge of downloads and users as it became instantly famous.
What is the Reason Behind this Blockage of Signal?
According to the Washington Post, what happened is part of the Chinese government's campaign to tighten its internet control. During the yearly legislative session this month, Li Keqiang, China's Premier, said that content creation and management should be strengthened in order to foster an optimistic culture online.
The statement of Li may sound different to others, specifically those who mainly rely on the internet for information dissemination like bloggers, online platforms, companies, and even some users.
Meanwhile, Alibaba has been instructed by the Chinese authorities to give away its assets. This means that the e-commerce giant should sell its Weibo stakes and its stakes from the South China Morning Post, a Chinese newspaper. The only reason this occurred was that Alibaba influenced the public.
In February, content creators and bloggers were required to submit an application before publishing their content. China's Cyberspace Administration spearheaded this requirement.
In the same month, many Chinese citizens were imprisoned after they defamed Chinese soldiers, who have perished during their encounter with the Indians in 2020.
Censorship is not a new issue in China, and Signal just became the recent app to have been blocked for access regulation.
Previously, China also blocked Clubhouse over its contents involving human rights protests in connection to the 1989 massacre that happened in Tiananmen Square.
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Written by Joen Coronel