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Saudi seeks to ban WhatsApp, Skype, Viber

As part of its efforts to have control over cyberspace with the rise in internet and smart phone users

By CBR Staff Writer

Saudi Arabia is seeking to ban Voice over IP (VoIP) applications including Skype and Viber, in addition to internet-based instant messaging service Whatsapp, claiming that they fail to comply with country’s rules.

The move by the country’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) follows local media reports which said that the CITC has asked Saudi telecom firms to allow the government to oversee the internet messaging applications.

In addition, the local service providers were advised to communicate with Skype, WhatsApp and Viber to ensure their offerings comply with Saudi regulations.

CITC said in a statement to SPA: "The Commission emphasizes that it will take appropriate action regarding these applications and services in the event of failure to meet those conditions."

"It has become evident that some communication applications through (the) Internet don’t meet regulatory requirements," CITC said.

"The authority has informed licensed (telecom) providers of the need to work with the developers of these applications to quickly meet these requirements."

According to reports, the country is also planning to end anonymity of Twitter users by limiting access to the site to users.

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