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.

 

French Foreign Minister steps down with criticism of US role in Syria

UAE names women state ministers in major government shake-up

Turkey, US split deepens over support for Syria Kurds

Unstable dam affecting Mosul recapture

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince in India: String of trade, security deals expected

Egypt hires UK firm to review Sharm security

Tunisia makes $500 million from assets of ousted president

Turkey dismisses pressure to open borders as 'hypocritical'

Efforts to form Libya unity government stumble over defence portfolio

Iran blames failure of Syria peace talks on participation of ‘terrorists’

Syria opposition hopes for end of sieges

Germany hopes Syria talks in Munich will agree to provide aid

Syrian Kurdish separatists open Moscow representation

Jordan rejects France extradition request for 1982 terror attack suspects

Libya parliament extends deadline for formation of new unity government

Herzog wants Israel to begin separation from Palestinian areas

Khomeini grandson loses appeal against exclusion from Iran elections

EU tells members to accelerate refugee relocation

Syria regime's Aleppo offensive kills more than 500

Ex-Israeli PM’s prison sentence extended

Turkey summons US envoy over Syria Kurds row

Jihadist attacks bring Egypt's tourist industry to its knees

‘Hell’ falling on Aleppo

Enormous challenges emerge after full liberation of Ramadi

Hamas fighter dies in latest tunnel collapse

Aleppo siege spells trouble for the West

Egypt policeman jailed for beating vet to death

How many civilians are living under 'surrender or starve' sieges in Syria?

NATO to consider policing refugee crisis

Iran deal will delay bomb up to 15 years

Top spy warns homegrown extremists pose biggest danger to US

UN to Turkey: Open borders to stranded Syria refugees

From Muslim Chechnya to ISIS: Spies collect intelligence to help Russia

Kurdish leader accuses Ankara of 'massacre' over Cizre operation

Kremlin rebukes Merkel over criticism of Russia air strikes in Syria

Nine killed in Damascus car bomb attack

Approval of reformists raises potential for change in Iran

Saudi Patriot missile shoots down Scud fired from Yemen

Syria artists find inspiration in haunting ruins of Homs

Pentagon chief seeks anti-IS support in Europe

Border camps full as Syria families escape regime offensive

Iraq military advance reopens Ramadi-Baghdad road

IEA holds OPEC responsible for oil supply glut

Iraqi woman charged over US hostage death

Mubarak era ‘reappears’ five years after his ouster