Saudi says Internet apps break the rules

Mar 31, 2013
Saudi police cars are parked outside the Al-rajhi mosque in central Riyadh, on March 11, 2011. Saudi Arabia has warned of "suitable measures" if providers of Internet messenger applications such as WhatsApp fail to comply with its rules, days after the industry said authorities wanted to control such traffic.

Saudi Arabia warned Sunday of "suitable measures" if providers of Internet messenger applications such as WhatsApp fail to comply with its rules, days after the industry said authorities wanted to control such traffic.

"Some telecom applications over the currently do not meet the regulatory conditions" in the kingdom, said the Communications and Information Technology Commission in a statement carried by the official SPA state news agency.

These applications include WhatsApp, Skype and Viber, and allow text and over the Internet.

The commission has told service providers in Saudi Arabia to work with the developers of such applications to "quickly meet the regulatory conditions," but it did not specify how they violate the rules in the ultra-conservative country.

"The commission will take suitable measures regarding these applications and services if those conditions are not met," it said, in a veiled threat to ban the programs.

Industry sources said this week that the authorities had asked telecom operators to furnish a means of control that would allow censorship in the absolute monarchy. One source said the providers had been given a week to comply.

An industry source said were behind the move, accusing the Saudi Telecommunications Co. (STC), along with Mobily and Zain, of asking the commission to impose censorship because of the "damage" caused by free applications.

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

The two Gulf neighbours in 2010 threatened to ban BlackBerry instant messaging and demanded that the company install local servers to censor the service.

on BlackBerry remain uninterrupted, but it is not clear how far the Canadian smartphone manufacturer went to comply.

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User comments : 8

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phorbin
4 / 5 (4) Mar 31, 2013
There has to be a better name for governments, political systems and real-politiks that look a bit like some colour of conservatism but are in fact radical tyrannies.
Lurker2358
2.3 / 5 (9) Mar 31, 2013
There has to be a better name for governments, political systems and real-politiks that look a bit like some colour of conservatism but are in fact radical tyrannies.


I think you mean "Muslims".
kochevnik
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2013
How will the chop they hands and heads off of apps with no apparent appendage? How will they administer forty lashes to a bit blob? The mind of a religionist is a twisted labyrinth
I think you mean "Muslims".
Among other Abrahamic psychos
willem_hendriks_66
not rated yet Apr 01, 2013
Those Radical Tyrannies are fully supported by the US government and the European regimes. They are not any better than the neo imperialists who conquer, destroy and plunder the much needed resources. In fact they are called "christians".
krundoloss
not rated yet Apr 01, 2013
I feel like we should make it very difficult to maintain censorship for those countries. Freedom is built into the internet, and should not be taken away! Why do they want to censor a messaging service, for gods sake? Do these people not have the right to send messages to each other? And if they are anti-government, there is probably a reason and their feelings are not evil, they are normal!
It is a modern reality that information is shaped, shifted and controlled to please those in power. Some are more obvious than others, but the information is always controlled. However, people have the right to dislike thier government! You cannot stop it, it should be encouraged! People have a right to have the government they want!
krundoloss
5 / 5 (2) Apr 01, 2013
Maybe if you let people vent thier frustrations little by little, they wouldnt go extremist and try to blow things up! Its the same reason that Catholic Priests molest young boys! If they were allowed to have a normal sex life, they wouldn't have to molest little boys. Just like a disgruntled citizen, if you let them complain and get thier feelings out, maybe they would not build up to the point that they try to overthrow the government!
delight
3.3 / 5 (7) Apr 01, 2013
the following heading :
"Saoudi says Internet apps break the rules"
in fact means
"Saoudi says Internet apps break sharia law "
That is what it is all about .
Don't break the Putin rules , don't break the Hitler rules, it is always the same story , some want to have 100% control , we call that fascism .
ValeriaT
2 / 5 (4) Apr 01, 2013
Saudi should put the question, what's wrong can be with Internet, which is serving the whole world without problem. At the moment, when someone has some problem with such a platform, it just indicates its own problem instead: usually the lack of freedom and democracy. For me every society, which tends to censor information suffer with some structural problem: from Saudi to mainstream physicists. The fight against freedom of information is always anti-progressive and negentropic.