Saudi threatens to ban WhatsApp, Viber and Skype

26 March 2013 07:51 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Internet messenger applications such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp, used by many migrant workers including Sri Lankans, face being banned in Saudi Arabia if operators fail to allow authorities in the kingdom to censor them, industry sources said.

Local telecommunication providers have been told to ask the operators of the services to furnish means of control, an official at the kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission said, requesting anonymity.

Another source at telecom operator Saudi Telecommunications Co. (STC) said the commission gave service providers one week ending on Saturday to respond, warning it would "take measures to ban them" if they failed to comply.

An industry source said telecom operators were behind the move, accusing the STC, along with Mobily and Zain, of asking the commission to impose censorship due to the "damage" caused by the free-of-charge applications.

In neighbouring UAE, most Skype applications and Viber are blocked but WhatsApp messenger remains accessible.

The two countries in 2010 threatened to ban BlackBerry instant messaging and demanded installing local servers to censor the service. The services remain uninterrupted but it was not clear how far the RIM Canadian maker did comply. (Source: Bangkok Post)

  Comments - 18

  • shf Wednesday, 27 March 2013 12:00 AM

    yea rite BOBU BALA modoyo....cn stop this???? via DM Android App

    Chams Tuesday, 26 March 2013 08:23 AM

    what a country!

    Fathima Wednesday, 27 March 2013 04:53 AM

    James, How does this reflect any stupidity on the part of muslims.. this proves you are stupid james-phiilip. BTW I'm sure ur not a James

    Faisil Tuesday, 26 March 2013 08:17 PM

    Only BODU BALA can stop this !!!!

    Abdul22 Tuesday, 26 March 2013 08:30 AM

    we should stop sending maids to Arabia

    Ash Wednesday, 27 March 2013 04:59 AM

    Saudi isnt a democracy- it's a monarchy :-p

    Dolwatta Tuesday, 26 March 2013 08:33 AM

    In 2010 they wanted to ban BBM because RIM didn't give the govts of Saudi Arabia, UAE and India access to the encrypted messages.

    srinath.gunaratne Tuesday, 26 March 2013 08:33 AM

    US, Where is your UNHCR? Is there two way of preaching democracy ? One for haves and one for have nots?

    james_philip Tuesday, 26 March 2013 12:56 PM

    Stupid muslims,

    Dinesh Tuesday, 26 March 2013 04:10 PM

    Those firewalls can be easily by passed.....

    Gobi Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:05 AM

    Saudi becomes another Sri Lanka

    lol Tuesday, 26 March 2013 12:58 PM

    hosemaids la witharada skype viber whatsapp pavichchi karanne ! nikan yanawa manussayo yanna wadak balagena !

    Moham1968 Tuesday, 26 March 2013 04:14 PM

    This is good. We should prevent all communication to outside world by the maids. They are owned by us. We paid to get them.

    weha Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:33 AM

    Well it is been done to stop people from taking free calls. im not sure how that plays with HR.

    idroos2002 Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:36 AM

    POLICE Mentality

    priyantha Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:58 AM

    worlds stupid country i have ever seen..

    sham Tuesday, 26 March 2013 10:00 AM

    skype is not free....cos...u have to pay for your internet....anyhow....if one closes...there are other doors which can be opened....

    SLExpat Tuesday, 26 March 2013 02:10 PM

    You havent yet seen Sri Lanka?


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