Saudi threatens to ban WhatsApp, Viber and Skype: sources

March 25, 2013
Internet messenger applications such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp face being banned in Saudi Arabia if operators fail to allow authorities in the kingdom to censor them, industry sources said on Monday.

Internet messenger applications such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp face being banned in Saudi Arabia if operators fail to allow authorities in the kingdom to censor them, industry sources said on Monday.

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 .

Another source at 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 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.

Explore further: Saudi BlackBerrys still online as 'talks progress'

Related Stories

Saudi BlackBerrys still online as 'talks progress'

August 7, 2010

BlackBerry users in Saudi Arabia said messaging services remained online on Saturday despite a ban, as a mobile phone company reported progress in talks with the smartphone's Canadian makers.

Saudis extend BlackBerry ban reprieve: agency

August 10, 2010

Saudi Arabia's telecoms regulator has extended indefinitely a reprieve on a BlackBerry messenger ban as a solution is sought that allows authorities to monitor the service, SPA news agency said Tuesday.

Batelco, PCCW and Verizon Get Saudi Fixed-Line Okay

April 23, 2007

Consortia led by Bahrain Telecommunications Co., Hong Kong's PCCW and U.S. Verizon Communications have won initial approval to operate Saudi Arabia's new fixed-line phone network, a Saudi regulator said on Saturday.

Bahrain says no plans to ban BlackBerry services

August 9, 2010

(AP) -- Bahrain's foreign minister said Sunday the country has no plans to follow its Persian Gulf neighbors in banning some BlackBerry services because security fears do not outweigh the technological benefits.

Indonesia joins countries mulling BlackBerry ban

August 4, 2010

(AP) -- Indonesia said Wednesday it is considering following the lead of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in banning BlackBerry services, adding to pressure on device maker Research in Motion Ltd. to give governments ...

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

Artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas

October 4, 2018

In a new scientific article, researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.