Tamil Tigers force Sri Lanka’s Dialog to suspend texting

AFP reports that Dialog, the main mobile operator in Sri Lanka, blocked text messaging for all its subscribers from the hours of 6am until noon, citing concerns that the Tamil Tigers might use texting to spread fear regarding the nation’s upcoming independence celebrations.

That’s a pretty strong indication of the percieved/actual power of the medium of text messaging.

The main mobile service provider Dialog, in a message to its subscribers, said SMS (short message services) would not be available from 6.00 a.m. to noon, the duration of independence day festivities.

“We regret to inform subscribers that SMS services of all mobile operators will not be available…,” said the company, a unit of Malaysian Telekom.

Officials said Sri Lanka’s telecom regulator had ordered the suspension of SMS messages, fearing Tamil Tiger rebels could use them to scare people into staying away from celebrations.

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