The Viber messaging application will not longer be available in Saudi Arabia after the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) stated the app “fails to comply with regulatory requirements” Wednesday.
Reuters reported the telecom regulator appears to be willing to have greater control over cyberspace as smart phone and Internet usage rapidly increases.
The CITC hasn’t given further explanations, though. It issued a directive in March warning that some apps like Viber, Whatsapp and Skype broke local laws. It has now suspended the use of tViber without specifying why.
According to Riyadh Bureau, the CITC warned one of the reasons for blocking communication tools could be mobile companies being unable to monitor the encrypted messages sent through the apps.
The Verge suggests this ban might be only the beginning of a further restriction of messaging services in the country. If companies don’t give Saudi Arabia the access it wants, they will face a swift ban, the news network says.
Freedom House reports Saudi Arabia is a non-free country, ranking it 163 out of 179 countries.