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April 2, 2013

Saudi Arabia Government Threatens to Ban Skype, WhatsApp and other VOIP Services

VoIP services regularly get into trouble in countries where governments like to keep a solid grip on what people are talking about and with whom.

No, not the US this time, Saudi Arabia is the latest to join the anti-Skype brigade as it threatens to ban essentially all VoIP communications in the country unless those communications fall within the regulations.

Regulations that involve the government being allowed to snoop in on communications, which can't be done practically if the communications are encrypted.

While the government hasn't said exactly why these apps are being targeted, it did mention Skype, WhatsApp and Viber as falling outside the rules. All three are very popular VoIP services, the latter two mostly on mobile phones.

Saudi Arabia has a history of going against communication methods it can't control, it banned BlackBerry's built-in messaging service temporarily a few years ago over the use of encryption.