The U.S. government has shut down Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn in the U,U.K., as it seeks to shut the country down entirely in a bid to stem the spread of the Zika virus.
The government says it is targeting the services with the same tactics used by the British government in the Brexit referendum.
It announced the new measures Friday, calling the social media companies “vulnerable to cybercrime” and “untrustworthy” and the “most common way for criminals to access and manipulate public information.”
In a statement, the U the U of K government said it is trying to “reduce the spread” of the virus through “combating cybercriminals, malicious actors and other external actors.”
It is not clear how the U.-UK measures will work.
A spokesperson for the U.,U.S., told CNN that the new rules “are in place to target cybercrime and cyberthreats to our companies and individuals and to protect our citizens.”
But, the spokesperson added, “there is no certainty that all of the cyber-related activity that has been flagged in the United Kingdom will be stopped by this new policy.”
A U.UK official said Friday that the government will not stop social media or other forms of online activity until it is satisfied that “there are no other ways that they are being used to conduct criminal activity.”
A senior U. K. government official said that if the government had a clear policy it would “continue to engage” with social media platforms.
K.-based news site The Register said the U’s move is a response to a report by the Uppsala University that revealed that the U government had shut down hundreds of online services in the country since the Brexit vote last month.
Uppsala reported that the British Parliament passed legislation on March 3 that was intended to shut online services down in the UK.
In addition to Twitter, it was also reported that Facebook and YouTube were also on the government’s radar.
Twitter and Facebook, which had close business ties with the UK government, have been hit with massive legal bills in recent months.
Facebook, for example, had just $2.7 million in cash reserves at the end of September, down from $8.5 million at the beginning of October.
YouTube and Twitter are also facing legal bills, with the European Court of Justice recently issuing a preliminary ruling that found the companies violated EU law by not enforcing their own policies.