Saudi Arabia, September 22, 2017: Saudi Arabian government as part of economic reforms is to lift the ban on calls through networking apps Skype and WhatsApp, but will keep an eye on all the calls as stated by the government spokesperson.
The government in order to transform its economy that aids in enlargement of the business and broaden the economy to the low price of oil plans to provide access to other video and audio call services including Facebook messenger and Viber that fulfills the necessities of the regulation of the authorities.
The spokesperson of telecoms regulator of Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Adel Abu Hameed through, Arabiya TV said the idea behind imposing the regulation is to keep away the content that violated the laws of the region and also to keep intact the personal information of the user.
He also added that the apps, both local and global cannot be used in any way without being censored by CITC or monitoring.
The government although have not made it clear as to how they are going to undertake this regulation on end-to-end encryption apps like WhatsApp which do not allow anyone to read the customers’ messages event after the enforcement of the law.
Saudi Arabia banned the widely used services for internet communication from 2013 onwards stating them to be used by the activists against for the norms of the government. The government still keep a check on the restricted content such as gambling sites, pornography, and extremist material.
At the end of May 2017, Saudi Arabia blocked the access to the website of Al Jazeera after the country put an end to all the Qatar links over supporting terrorism and having ties with Iran.
However, it is believed that reversing the Saudi Arabian ban can adversely affect the three main telecom operators – Saudi Telecom Co (STC), Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi of Saudi Arabia, which has been generating major revenue from international calls.
The Gulf Arab neighbours have also raised concerned about the security in the usage of internet communications.
Censorship over internet increased in Saudi Arabia after ‘Arab Spring’ uprising in 2011.The authorities also claim that they have been using the IP addresses to block around 400,000 websites that could harm the public interest.
– prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_desire