Keeping its promise, Saudi Arabian government is now ready to block WhatsApp

Keeping its promise, Saudi Arabian government is now ready to block WhatsApp
Stating that the reasons behind the suspension of the popular messaging platform WhatsApp are not political or rooted in security concerns, Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) stated that the company, based in Mountain View, California, has refused to comply with the government’s request for local servers to be placed in the Kingdom.

Viber had the screws put to it by the conservative government last month and CITC has made it clear that internet based communication services were under scrutiny since at least this past March.

Right now, Skype is still operational in Saudi Arabia and services that have previously complied with the government like BlackBerry Messenger are still up and running too. There are still a number of other instant messaging apps available (for now), so if by chance you are affected by this, check out our recent survey of messaging applications for ideas.

This marks another dark step in a long line of censorship in a country that is also known as “the internet’s enemy.” A spokesman for the CITC said that an official statement is pending once the suspension of WhatsApp is in place.

Unlike Viber, who is a relative small fry compared to WhatsApp and Skype, a ban on WhatsApp will prove to be a major inconvenience. WhatsApp is one of the few applications out there that has gone all-in across all the major and minor mobile platforms out there, making it accessible to just about everyone whether they had an iOS, Android, Symbian, S40, BlackBerry or Windows Phone device.  Such accessibility has made WhatsApp a leading messaging platform, processing over 20 billion messages a day.

Now that Ramadan has begun, a suspension is all but certain at this point.

sources: Al Arabiya, Daily News Egypt

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31 Comments

1. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

So dumb and sectarian leadership Wish them to fall like the Egyptians

6. Caocao

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Egyptians never fell. Egypt has been the leading country in its region and still is, and currently proving themselves as a free country from any dictator, regardless. Egyptians are making history meanwhile you're spending your life being judgmental over something that doesn't even affect you. Ranting without a purpose other than attention seeking. Keep the standard of your comments no where far from smartphones and tech. Industry. Because you have proven to be lacking the required education talk about politics.

31. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

I'm sorry. I meant the Egyptian's dictator. Greeting to the great Egyptians

26. muhsen

Posts: 281; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

fall like the Egyptians ??? so the Egyptians bringing down a dictator system for the 2nd time in a row(just two years between the two times) is called falling ?? I wonder what people did bring down a dictator system twice in history twice??? if that's called falling then the whole world is beyond the falling process. they stood against injustice , dictatorship, inhumanity and indignity at the price of their precious blood....twice.they r role models for many parts of the world that have sunk in corruption.

30. seanwhat

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

I think he meant the 'leadership' falling, not the country.

29. B3BLW29

Posts: 238; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Egyptians are awesome. Period

4. voxmarc

Posts: 339; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

its a way of the Saudi government of getting back what they've lost on Overseas calls, when every single Foreign workers including my countrymen,Filipinos, got hold of this App and its free call everyone stops using the the expensive calls from Telecom Service providers,the telecom companies know how much money they've lost,so they do this....Freedom must be restored!

9. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

i hope anonymous is listnening/reading this.. :)

8. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1260; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Saudi countries have one of the highest IUC (inter-connect usage or call connect charges) charges in the world. So the ISD calls to those countries are very very huge. (Another reason is the value of their currency is also very high). But what will the workers from other countries do with paltry salary (by saudi standards) and very high ISD calls? They have to depend on such voip providers. the govt is too evil to block them too... Whats next Skype, followed by Tango????

10. GMS85

Posts: 216; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

not a big deal let em ban it!

12. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

Saudi Govt... rich and yet.. greedy

15. mobilefuture

Posts: 224; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

Although I would be disappointed if this happened in my country, I'd be somewhat glad that if I couldn't stop myself, at least someone is :)

20. sss_ddk

Posts: 76; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

I'm all for freedom of speech and against bans, but (espacially after the Snowden/NSA story) i can't blame a governement for wanting the servers on its home territory. though for the end user, it comes down to who do you trust more, your local governement or the USA :)

27. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

They will lack behind.

28. Ronny666

Posts: 128; Member since: Jun 08, 2013

I guess they caught someone commiting cyber-adultery via Whatsapp :D

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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