Skype, WhatsApp face Saudi ban: report

Government demands access to monitoring tools for the popular apps

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Skype, WhatsApp face Saudi ban: report Skype and WhatsApp face a blockage of their KSA services unless they provide the kingdom’s regulator with monitoring tools. (ITP Images)
By  Daniel Shane Published  March 25, 2013

Online communications platforms Skype and WhatsApp face being banned in Saudi Arabia if the Gulf kingdom's government is not provided with services to monitor the technologies, according to a report in Arab News.

According to the English language newspaper, the country's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has threatened to block both applications, which both have millions of users around the world, as they use encrypted connections.

Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, allows users to communicate over video link, while WhatsApp is a free instant messaging service for smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and BlackBerry.

Saudi Arabia banned the use of BlackBerry services in the kingdom in 2010 in similar circumstances, with the government claiming that the technology's strong encryption was a hindrance to its efforts in fighting terrorism and criminal activity.

Arab News said that Skype and WhatsApp had until the end of this week to provide the CITC with the means to monitor communications via the platforms.

Representatives from Skype and WhatsApp could not be contacted for comments on the report at the time of publication.

1916 days ago
Mohammed Abdul Bari

Saudi Arabia has all the right to incript the info on any communications used in the Kingdom, as done by many other country.
If it comes to the security and integrity of the country, as the resident I support the policies and procedure of Ministry of Info.
I believe all the residents and citizens shall support this campain to fight against the terrorisim.

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