First Published: 2013-03-25

 

Internet messenger applications face ban in Saudi Arabia

 

Skype, Viber and WhatsApp face being banned in Saudi Arabia if operators fail to allow authorities in kingdom to censor them.

 

Middle East Online

It’s either ban or censorship!

RIYADH - 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 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.

Saudi Arabia 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.

 

Tunisia votes for president in final leg of democratic transition

Barzani in Mount Sinjar after end of jihadist siege

Egypt President removes powerful spy chief

UAE blames 'irresponsible' non-OPEC output for oil price plunge

Turkey TV regulator fines popular show over ‘dance with foreigners’

Coalition targets ‘Islamic State’ in areas north of Aleppo

Libya Islamist-backed government urges foreigners to return to Tripoli

Palestinians enter Egypt as Rafah crossing reopens for two days

Davutoglu accuses EU of 'dirty campaign' against Turkey

Raid on terrorists accidentally kills Saudi youth in Awamiya town

Egypt sentences ‘spy for Israel’ to ten years in prison

Jordan ends eight-year moratorium on death penalty

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015