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Saudi Arabia To Revoke Ban On Skype and WhatsApp Calls

Saudi arabia to remove ban on telecommunication like skype and whatsapp calls, but will keep monitoring it

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Saudi Arabia
source: Pixabay

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.

ALSO READSaudi communication and IT authority blocked 68 Percent of 900,000 violated Internet Links in 2016.

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

 

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WhatsApp Maintains its Stand on India’s Message Traceability Call

Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday said it has nothing fresh to add to the Indian government’s demand to trace the origin of messages on its platform as it “undermined the privacy of the people”.

Reacting to an ET story that claimed government officials have asked WhatsApp to digitally fingerprint every message, without breaking its end-to-end encryption, so that the origin of an inauthentic or fake message can be traced, WhatsApp told IANS: “We have nothing new to add to what we have previously said on this.”

Last December, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology proposed changes to Section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

The proposed regulations require a company to “enable tracing out of originators of information on its platform as required by legally authorised government agencies”.

The end-to-end encryption feature in WhatsApp makes it difficult for law enforcement authorities to find out the culprit behind a misinformation campaign.

The mobile messaging platform has already called the proposed changes “overbroad”, saying it undermined the privacy of the people.

whatsapp business app
FILE – The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

“Attributing messages on WhatsApp would undermine the end-to-end encryption, and its private nature, leading to possibilities of being misused. Our focus is to improve WhatsApp, and working closely with others in society to help keep people safe,” a company spokesperson had earlier said.

A top company executive in February stressed that some of the proposed government regulations for social media companies operating in India are threatening the very existence of WhatsApp in its current form.

“Of the proposed regulations, the one which concerns us the most is the emphasis on traceability of messages,” Carl Woog, WhatsApp’s Head of Communications, had told IANS.

Also Read- Apple Adds PiP Mode on Apple TV’s Operating System tvOS 13

The Facebook-owned messaging app offers end-to-end encryption by default which means only the sender and the recipient can see the texts in circulation – not even WhatsApp.

Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product.

With over 200 million monthly active users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world. Globally, the platform has over 1.5 billion users. (IANS)