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Viber gets shut down in Saudi Arabia, Skype and WhatsApp may be next

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Viber gets shut down in Saudi Arabia, Skype and WhatsApp may be next
While people in the US open their eyes to what kinds of snooping has been going on across any number of services and providers, the popular internet calling and messaging service, Viber, has been shut down in Saudi Arabia for not complying with an unspecified regulation.

The Kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission also stated that “action will be taken against other applications or services that do not comply with regulations.”

Skype, WhatsApp and Viber all received a warning from the Saudi government in March demanding that the services provide a local server in order to observe user activity. All three were given a week to comply and now that more than two months has passed with no apparent action, the Saudi government has pulled the plug on Viber.

Since Viber is the smallest of the three services involved, it is certainly a warning to the other two, where a disruption of service would have a far greater impact. There is speculation that this may also be the result of pressure being applied by Saudi Arabia’s telephone and wireless carriers, who lose money when services like this are in place.

These types of services have come under scrutiny before, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had BlackBerry under their thumbs a few years ago over BlackBerry Messenger. Eventually the company formerly known as Research in Motion accommodated the two countries, but the details of those agreements were never disclosed.

source: Quartz

17 Comments
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posted on 07 Jun 2013, 17:32

1. Omar-BHR95 (Posts: 184; Member since: 23 Dec 2012)


WHY !!!??? :( I live in Bahrain the Country that is next to KSA

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 22:32 1

6. ihatesmartphone (unregistered)


I live far away from that..

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 05:43

11. JaseelEbrahim (Posts: 31; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


where do you live in Bahrain?
i live in Muharraq

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 19:24

2. shareeff (Posts: 12; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


Saudi

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 22:32

7. ihatesmartphone (unregistered)


Arabia

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 06:15

13. ghaniosman (Posts: 64; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)


They r just feared by the revolution happening in their neighboring countries and they want to know what ppl r talking about their own country and viber was not providing their encrypted data due to their privacy policy of an esteemed user so the monopolistic Govt has banbed it.

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 19:58 6

3. fjftokyo (Posts: 48; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)


like Russell Peters once said "it's the saudis, they're f**king crazy"

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 20:45 2

5. Rehankhan (Posts: 323; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


they got the money

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 19:58

4. phil2n (Posts: 466; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Maybe Telcos in Saudi is controlled by government

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 06:04

12. shareeff (Posts: 12; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


Exactly

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 00:57 1

8. kalandershihab (Posts: 57; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)


maybe you could try using a vpn? @saudi users.

vpnbook.com is nice

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 10:21

16. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


That's a great idea, Imma try that tonight

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 01:03 3

9. Kreft (Posts: 84; Member since: 27 Dec 2012)


If I lived in places like that I'd leave or off myself.

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 10:20

15. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Sadly I live there xD

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 02:46

10. Hashimz (Posts: 5; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


I guess someone got pregnant cause of viber in Saudi Arabia!

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 08:01

14. Ronny666 (Posts: 108; Member since: 08 Jun 2013)


I guess they want to monitor you guys from committing cyber-adultery in Saudi. LOL!

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 10:22

17. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


For PA to mention, Viber still works on WiFi without a VPN or third-party apps interfering but doesn't work on carrier 3G/4G networks.

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