The mobile app Viber has been banned in Saudi Arabia, with the Kingdom’s regulator warning that similar services could suffer the same fate.
The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission stated that it would “take appropriate action against any other applications or services if they fail to comply with regulatory requirements and rules in force in the Kingdom”.
The Commission’s decision was motivated by the difficulty of monitoring over-the-top (OTT) communication services, which is a major issue in Saudi Arabia. In addition, such services also reduce revenue for licensed operators.
OTT players and operators were threatened in with a ban on the services unless they jointly implemented a means of monitoring customer activity. Apps such as WhatsApp and Skype were also targeted.