Saudis now have no opportunity to make calls with the help of messaging applications and to send voice calls via LINE. Under the decision of authorities the function of calls was blocked in the application, thus adding the list of VoIP-services and messaging applications, blocked partially or completely in the territory of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
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Blocking of LINE caused the indignation of local users, who immediately expressed on Twitter the protest against censorship from the side of conservative government of the kingdom.
The applications which were blocked in the territory of country, includes all these applications and services which were blocked without formal notification by the Communications and Information Technology Commission; CITC, the regulating authority of Saudi Arabia in the field of telecommunications, or local providers of services of telecommunications. On the official website and in social networks the statements of CITC in blocking of LINE, the applications of the subsidiary companies of South Korean Internet giant Naver were not still published.
Such sites as Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Skype were blocked.
Performing the function of the regulating body in the communications and information technology in order to create “an attractive investment and a highly competitive environment for the provision of first-class services to the end user», CITC exposes thousands of websites to censorship and directs the requirements for removal of content to social networking.
Saudi Arabia – is not the first country where VoIP-services are blocked. In the United Arab Emirates only two suppliers in the field of services of telecommunications hold the monopoly, they are – Etisalat and Du. Most of the shares of two companies belong to the government. Earlier this year the government of Morocco, whose liberal policy on the sector of telecommunications was warmly met, imposed a ban on VoIP-services to mobile and Wi-Fi networks, on the pretext that according to the Article 2 of the Law in Telecommunications, only licensed operator of services of telecommunications has the right to provide telephony services.
Principles of censorship. Vague created law on the media in the UK involves a large number of restrictions; punishments are strict and arbitrary. The authorities have the right to appoint and dismiss at its sole discretion the main editors of the traditional mass media, and after the appearance of the active unregulated sector of online news, the authorities imposed similar restrictions for publication in the Internet Government regulations require from any organization or individual person engaged in “electronic journalism” or “placed the audio and video materials” on websites, state registration and approval of editors, and those criteria are vague. It is banned for foreign and local journalists to go to the Eastern Province, where in February 2011, protesters call for political reforms and the enlargement of Shiites. Local news websites which reported about the unrest were closed and their editors were arrested. The country allows the news about events outside of Saudi Arabia, but international agencies which operate in the territory of country, limit the coverage to maintain accreditation.
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