Saudi Arabia likely to ban WhatsApp, Skype, other messaging apps
Manama: Saudi Arabian authorities are likely to impose a ban on the use of smartphone messenger WhatsApp, Internet call service Skype and other instant messaging applications. According to sources close to the matter, the decision is similar to the one taken years ago towards the use of BlackBerry phones amid concerns about encrypted communications.
The Communications and Information Technology Commission has requested companies operating the applications to meet the regulatory requirements to avoid their suspension in the kingdom, sources added. According to Gulf News, the sources denied claims that attributed the decision to commercial motivations, stressing that it was “in accordance with regulatory procedures”.
Saudi Arabia banned the use of BlackBerry phones to send and receive messages in 2010. The government cited concerns that the communications via BlackBerry were encrypted and could not be monitored and consequently hindered the country’s efforts to fight terrorism and crime.