Saudi Arabia bans communication application viber

Riyadh, June 6 (ANI): Saudi Arabia's telecom regulator has banned use of the web-based communication application Viber, which is hard for the state to monitor and deprives licensed telecom companies of revenue from international calls and texts.

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced the ban in a statement and affirmed it will take appropriate action against any other applications or services if they fail to comply with regulatory requirements and rules in force in the kingdom, reports Gulf News.

CITC did not explain what regulatory requirements and rules it breached.

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

The regulator issued a vaguely worded directive in March warning that such tools as Viber, Whatsapp and Skype broke local laws, without specifying how.

Conventional international calls and texts are a lucrative earner for telecom operators in Saudi Arabia, which hosts around nine million expatriates. These foreign workers are increasingly using internet-based applications such as Viber to communicate with relatives in other countries, analysts say. (ANI)

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