Venezuela blocks Zello app popular among protesters

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LIMA, Peru - The U.S. company whose "walkie-talkie" application Zello has become a wildly popular organizing tool for Venezuelan anti-government protesters says the country's state-run telecom company has just blocked its use.

CEO Bill Moore of the Austin, Texas-based Zello tells The Associated Press that Venezuela's main mobile operator and Internet provider — Movilnet and CANTV — blocked access on Thursday to Zello.com.

The push-to-talk application for smartphones and computers has been popular with protesters in Venezuela and Ukraine.

Moore said that on Thursday it became the No. 1 app in Ukraine for both the Apple and Android operating systems.

In one day this week, the company reported more than 150,000 downloads in Venezuela.

Zello was also popular in Egpyt and Turkey. Users can create discrete channels that support up to 600 users.

Organizations: The Associated Press, Movilnet, Apple

Geographic location: Venezuela, Ukraine, LIMA Peru U.S. Egpyt Turkey

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