Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

Saudi govt warns of ‘suitable measures’ against WhatsApp, Skype, Viber

Published time: March 31, 2013 13:31
 Reuters/Ali Jarekji

Reuters/Ali Jarekji

Saudi Arabia says it will take “suitable measures” if providers of internet messaging applications such as WhatsApp fail to comply with its rules. The move comes a week after the government warned providers to comply with censorship requirements.

Internet applications such as Skype and Viber are also at risk of being banned if they do not meet the government’s specific demands. “Some telecom applications over the Internet protocol currently do not meet the regulatory conditions” in the kingdom, the Communications and Information Technology Commission said in a Sunday statement carried by SPA state news agency.

The commission has told service providers in Saudi Arabia to work with developers of such applications to “quickly meet the regulatory conditions,” but did not explain how they violated the government’s rules.

“The commission will take suitable measures regarding these applications and services if those conditions are not met,” it said.

Earlier this week, industry sources told AFP that authorities had asked telecom providers to furnish a means of control to allow for government censorship. Providers were reportedly given a week to comply.

Another source said that telecom operators were behind the move, accusing three Saudi companies – Saudi Telecommunications Co. (STC), Mobily and Zain – of asking the commission to impose censorship because of alleged “damage” caused by free applications.

The move echoes the efforts of the neighboring United Arab Emirates, whose government has already blocked most Skype applications and Viber calls. WhatsApp messenger remains accessible in the country.

This is not the first time that Saudi Arabia has attempted to censor Internet applications. Last month, the government admitted it censors Twitter.

Saudi Arabian Minister for Media and Culture Abdel Aziz Khoga called on citizens to “raise their awareness” and contribute to the ministry's censorship scheme. “People have to take care of what they are writing on Twitter,” the minister said in a February statement.

The country’s crackdown on social networking sites has led to the arrest of citizens whose comments have been deemed inappropriate or offensive by the Saudi Arabian government.

In 2010, Saudi Arabia banned the use of Blackberry phones to send and receive messages, citing concerns that the communications were encrypted and could not be monitored, therefore hindering the country’s efforts to fight terrorism and crime.

Comments (7)

Anonymous user 01.04.2013 17:28

Western culture of imperialism and obscenity does not work in Saudi.

 

George Rizk 01.04.2013 14:12

The oppression of women is a major role for the men in raghead countries. All you have to do is reflect on these misfits way of dressing? The last time rag on the head was fashionable was 2000 years ago during Jesus time. You have to be very stubborn and attached to tradition not to change fashion for 2000 years.




 

Corbin Reardon 01.04.2013 02:34

Anonymous user 31.03.2013 20:19

At what point do "citizens" realize they're slaves?

  


Any people's rising in Saudi Arabia is nearly impossible if the US continues to arm the Saudi army.

View all comments (7)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us