Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) is all set to block WhatsApp if it doesn't give in to their rules
After blocking the popular Internet messaging app, Viber, looks like WhatsApp is next up in line.
In the beginning of June, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia slapped a ban on Viber, a service that allowed users to call for free, send messages and share photos as they failed to comply with the rules of the country's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC).
Lately, even WhatsApp, a similar app is facing the threat as its service is harder to monitor and cuts into the revenues of local telecom companies as it allows messages to be sent over the internet for free.
"We have been communicating with WhatsApp and other similar communication platforms to get them to cooperate and comply with the Saudi telecom providers, however nothing has come of this communication yet," Abdullah Al-Darrab, governor of the CITC, told Arab News. "We will take punitive action against these applications and services if they do not comply with the regulations."
CITC has planned to block WhatsApp in a couple of weeks before Ramadan if the service does not comply with local regulations.The CITC requested that Viber, Skype and WhatsApp set up local servers to allow for easier monitoring, but the companies haven't complied. Viber was banned at the beginning of June, and the other two services could be next in line.
The CITC has been asking for Internet-based apps including Skype to allow easier monitoring but companies have refused, leading to the ban on Viber, and now WhatsApp and Skype may be the next one in line.