Saudi regulators exploring what it will take to shut WhatsApp down

Saudi regulators exploring what it will take to shut WhatsApp down
In the early part of June, we conveyed the news that regulators in Saudi Arabia had banned the use of Viber, a communication and chat application similar to Skype, with few specific details as to why and what laws were being enforced.

Earlier in the year, the Saudi government sent warnings to Viber, Skype and WhatsApp demanding that the providers set up local servers in order to observe user activity. At the time, all three were given a week to comply and Viber was the first to get the hook.

Shutting down WhatsApp and Skype would be a far more disruptive undertaking due to their size and popularity. Now, the Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) is in discussions with Saudi Telecom (STC), Mobily and Zain, the country’s three main carriers to see what technical issues would be involved in disconnecting WhatsApp’s services.

Abdullah Al-Darrab, the head of the CITC noted that the Saudi government has been in discussions with WhatsApp “and other similar communications platforms,” but that progress has been slow. He also said that it was “highly likely” that WhatsApp will be blocked before Ramadan, which begins on July 9th this year.

source: Al Arabiya

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14 Comments

2. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Then the Saudi GOV'T DON'T NEED too have CELL phones in their country or any arab nation that shuts down their own people communications.

15. GamePlayer

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

What do you mean? "Arab" means people living in Saudi Arabia. If you mean Muslim, then please educate yourself first.

3. fsnas

Posts: 122; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

I live in Saudi Arabia! it's not the government regulators, the carriers themselves are behind this because of their losses. anyway, i have a Windows Phone 8 and the Whatsapp is really nothing but a piece of s**t, so it doesn't matter! it'll be good for us who own WP8 devices because everybody will switch to a different chat app like Line which is waaaay much better than Whatsapp!

4. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

I live in Saudi Arabia too and sadly its true, our greedy carriers have noticed that the ever growing amount of Whatsapp users have made everyone text less which is very true. Yet this is sad because since mid-2012 I've become a very frequent user of the app where all groups of our friends/family/relatives came together. Contrary to what the guy above me is saying IT DOES MATTER to everyone, Viber was but a start but this is just too far.

7. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

But aren't we buying internet packs just for that?

14. shamashu9

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

I'm a windows phone 8 user and whatsapp is the best.. Whatsapp is way better than line in terms of notification toast. Line on wp8 doesn't notify you if you had received a message. And besides, Line on wp8 doesn't have call function just like on the other platforms. Viber notifications sucks. whatsapp is the best.

5. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Sadly they may block Whatsapp but I know for sure they won't block Skype, no one f**ks with Microsoft. Such greedy bastards.

6. faizan-sharif

Posts: 98; Member since: Jun 26, 2013

i also live in saudia and their is no network named MOBILITY :P, its MOBILY correct your article, and on the issue, whatsapp has been helpful to us and we actually shifted frm high costing normal messages frm netwrks and this is the onlyy reason we see, but its not tht much problem , even by doing this we are not going back to the regular sms service and will use any other application, avaialble to all netwrks

8. Cyberchum

Posts: 1030; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Arabic countries and their constraints. Freedom is never fully exercised.

11. aryanfr1

Posts: 125; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

Conventional international calls and texts are a lucrative earner for telecom operators in Saudi Arabia, which hosts around nine million expatriates. These foreign workers are increasingly using Internet-based applications such as Viber to communicate with relatives in other countries.There is no religion issue here......... If it was then mark my word Afganistan,Pakistan or Iran will top the activity rather than Saudi

13. shamashu9

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

I agree. There are lots of Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia and their means of communication are free applications over VoIP or chat services that are free like yahoo chat, Skype, viber, whatsapp, line, wechat, tango, Facebook chat etc. Its cheaper. Whatsapp is the best and fast and real-time.

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