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

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

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17 Comments

1. Omar-BHR95

Posts: 184; Member since: Dec 23, 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: Jul 24, 2012

where do you live in Bahrain? i live in Muharraq

2. shareeff

Posts: 20; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

Saudi

7. ihatesmartphone unregistered

Arabia

13. ghaniosman

Posts: 78; Member since: Jun 06, 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.

3. fjftokyo

Posts: 65; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

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

5. Rehankhan

Posts: 323; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

they got the money

4. phil2n

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Maybe Telcos in Saudi is controlled by government

12. shareeff

Posts: 20; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

Exactly

8. kalandershihab

Posts: 57; Member since: Mar 09, 2012

maybe you could try using a vpn? @saudi users. vpnbook.com is nice

16. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

That's a great idea, Imma try that tonight

9. Kreft

Posts: 84; Member since: Dec 27, 2012

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

15. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Sadly I live there xD

10. Hashimz

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

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

14. Ronny666

Posts: 128; Member since: Jun 08, 2013

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

17. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 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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