Authorities of Indonesia have warned that it will block Facebook Inc’s popular Instant Messaging service WhatsApp within 48 hours. The warning has been issued to make sure that the obscene Graphics Interchange Formal images were removed by the service. On the other hand WhatsApp has explained that the message encryption prevented it from monitoring the third party providers that the Indonesians use to search for the GIFs.

The service is widely used by the people of Indonesia which has a majority of Muslim population. WhatsApp has asked the government to work with the providers. Director General at Communications and Informatics Ministry of Indonesia, Semuel Pangerapan said that the service will be blocked within 48 hours if the images that were supplied by the third parties are not removed from the service. Pangerapan added, “Yes, true. They have to follow the rules of the host”.

The authority also said that they have sent three letters to WhatsApp over the issue so far. Pangerapan added that the company has responded but have asked to directly talk to the third party. However, one of the third party provider of GIF to WhatsApp has been blocked. Third party provider Tenor has so far not responded for comment but a representative from WhatsApp said, “In Indonesia, WhatsApp lets people search for GIFs using third-party providers”.

The instant messaging service further explained that they are not able to monitor GIFs on WhatsApp as the content is end-to-end encrypted. The company data has shown that there are 69 million monthly active users on Facebook from Indonesia as per figures of the first quarter of 2014 which ranked it fourth globally after the US, India and Brazil. The news had a few reactions from the social media which said, “While you’re at it, why don’t you block Twitter too, (and) if necessary all browsers in the Playstore, because it’s way easier to search for porn there than on WhatsApp”. The country had earlier blocked access to some of the channels of Telegram messaging app saying that its forums were filled with terrorist propaganda and radicals.

Photo Credits: techinasia