WhatsApp faces Saudi block: reports
Saudi Arabia plans to block Internet-based communication tool WhatsApp within weeks, local newspapers reported this week. Saudi Arabia plans to block Internet-based communication tool WhatsApp within weeks if the U.S.-based firm fails to comply with requirements set by the kingdom’s telecom regulator, local newspapers reported this week. This month the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) banned Viber, another such tool, which like WhatsApp is hard for the state to monitor and deprives telecom companies of revenue from international calls and texts.
Asked when WhatsApp services would be blocked, the CITC chief said it was highly likely to be before the holy month of Ramadan which is expected to start on July 9. The regulator issued a directive in March saying tools such as Viber, WhatsApp and Skype broke local laws, without specifying how.
Local media reported at the time that Saudi Arabia’s three main operators Saudi Telecom Co, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi had been asked to tell CITC if they were able to monitor or block such applications. Mobile penetration was 188 percent by the end of 2012, CITC data shows.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at BusinessTech