Viber gets shut down in Saudi Arabia, Skype and WhatsApp may be next
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.
1. Omar-BHR95 (Posts: 182; Member since: 23 Dec 2012)
WHY !!!??? :( I live in Bahrain the Country that is next to KSA
6. ihatesmartphone (unregistered)
I live far away from that..
11. JaseelEbrahim (Posts: 31; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)
where do you live in Bahrain?
i live in Muharraq
7. ihatesmartphone (unregistered)
13. ghaniosman (Posts: 61; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)
3. fjftokyo (Posts: 23; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)
like Russell Peters once said "it's the saudis, they're f**king crazy"
4. phil2n (Posts: 458; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
Maybe Telcos in Saudi is controlled by government
8. kalandershihab (Posts: 57; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)
maybe you could try using a vpn? @saudi users.
vpnbook.com is nice
16. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
That's a great idea, Imma try that tonight
9. Kreft (Posts: 81; Member since: 27 Dec 2012)
If I lived in places like that I'd leave or off myself.
10. Hashimz (Posts: 5; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)
I guess someone got pregnant cause of viber in Saudi Arabia!
14. Ronny666 (Posts: 98; Member since: 08 Jun 2013)
I guess they want to monitor you guys from committing cyber-adultery in Saudi. LOL!
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.