Call me...maybe: Banned Viber Smartphone app back in KSA, but gov't says app still illegal

Published December 14th, 2013 - 03:01 GMT
Viber has been banned in KSA since June 2013 (Shutterstock)
Viber has been banned in KSA since June 2013 (Shutterstock)

Viber is back and working in Saudi Arabia after it was previously banned and blocked by government authorities, according to Agence France-Presse Saturday.

The smartphone application, which allows users to call internationally free of charge to other smartphone Viber users, was banned by the government in June on the grounds that it did not "comply with regulations."

The so-called regulations have not been specified by authorities, but KSA is known for its high levels of internet censorship.

Telecommunication companies, such as the creators of Skype and WhatsApp, had to "comply with [KSA] measures" before they were allowed to operate in the Kingdom.

According to AFP, KSA's Communications and Information Technology Commission, who imposed the Viber ban in June, says that the ban has not actually been officially lifted, despite residents reporting that they are able to access the application.

"There may be some illegal way of providing the application by the Viber company to get round the ban, but the commission is dealing with that. The CITC has not lifted the ban as the company has not complied with the requirements of the commission," said CITC spokesman Sultan al-Malek.

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