Viber Blocked In Saudi Arabia

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Saudi Arabia’s telecom regulator, shut down Internet messenger application Viber on Wednesday for failing to comply with regulations.

“Viber has failed to comply with the regulatory conditions… in this Kingdom and was stopped from starting up today (Wednesday),” CITC said in a statement on its website. The CITC also warned that “appropriate action will be taken against other applications or services that do not comply with regulations.”

Viber allows subscribers to make free calls, send instant messages and share files over the Internet.

These free applications deprive licensed telecom operators of revenue from international calls and texts, which is significant given that the country has a large expatriate population. Local media reports have cited industry sources who accuse telecom operators like Saudi Telecommunications, Mobily and Zain of asking the CITC to impose censorship.

Attempts to use Viber on two different smartphones and to download it onto a computer failed to work on Wednesday. A message on the Viber website explained the service had been banned in Saudi Arabia.

Nimbuzz an instant messaging and Voice over IP service available for many platforms; Windows, Mac, iPhone and so on was blocked in April 2013. Last year FaceTime was also deactivated.

The head of the messaging application Viber told BBC  that people in Saudi Arabia have had basic freedoms taken away, after his service was blocked there.

Talmon Marco told the BBC he did not know the reason for the move, but that Viber would be restored soon.

Recently the UAE media reported that Telecom Regulatory Authority was considering to legalize Skype, however there is no clarity on it.

To help getting it unblocked try filling a form at internet.gov.sa or  send a fax to +966(1)2639290. People have been outrageous on Twiiter and expressing their anger. Check out some tweets giving insights: -

 

 

 

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