WeTransfer site blocked over ‘national security’; vows to resume services soon

The government has blocked file sharing website WeTransfer, citing national security and public interest. In an order dated May 18, the Department of Telecom directed internet service providers to block two specific webpages of WeTransfer in the country, while the popular file transfer service is trying to understand the reason behind this step and aims to get the services reverted at the earliest. The Amsterdam, Netherlands-based WeTransfer, a popular file transfer platform, is used by millions of users across the world, including India.

The service has been partially blocked in India. While the service continues to work on Airtel fixed-line and mobile connection, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio and Hathway users have been complaining about the service not accessible. The site continues to be accessible on Airtel network using Chrome, Safari, and Opera browser.

The DoT has cited national interest and public interest as the reasons for banning the website. However, there isn’t any clarity on what exactly did it find objectionable on the page. According to a news report by Mumbai Mirror, DoT issued a notice to internet service providers across the country to ban three URLs. The first two notices asked to ban two specific URLs on the website whereas the third notice was to ban the entire WeTransfer website.

“We are aware that WeTransfer seems to be blocked and unavailable in India. We are working hard to understand the reasoning behind this block, as well as how to get it reverted as soon as possible. A lot of people rely on us to send and receive transfers that are important to them, so we are really sorry to see that so many people can’t use the service at the moment,” the company said.

The company has also updated its support page stating ‘WeTransfer seems to be blocked and unavailable in India. We know that a lot of you rely on us to send and receive transfers that are important to you, nowadays more than ever, so it really does break our hearts to see that so many of you can’t use WeTransfer at the moment. Hopefully, we’ll be able to welcome you all back soon – but for the moment, please do bear with us, and know that we are doing all we can to fix this. We will update this page as soon as we have more information.’

WeTransfer allows users to send files up to 2GB for free, whereas Pro (paid subscription) users can send files of up to 20GB and even have access to 1TB cloud storage on the platform. Given the current outbreak of COVID-19, millions are working from home and relying on free file-sharing platforms for work collaboration.

Source: Business Today

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