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Saudi authorities demand the capability to snoop on Skype communications


Link Here 27th March 2013  full story: Internet Censorship in Saudi...Communications under threat

skype logoEncrypted messaging services such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp could be blocked in Saudi Arabia. The telecommunications censor is demanding a means to snoop on such applications.

Saudi newspapers are reporting that the companies behind the applications have been given a week to respond. No explanation has been given of why the demand has been made.

Internet communications has had a big impact in Saudi Arabia, which has the highest take-up of Twitter in the world, reports the BBC's Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher. He adds  that this latest threat would potentially deprive people of what has become an essential means of simply communicating with friends and family.

One Saudi user told the local media that she would feel uncomfortable talking to her relative on Skype without her hijab (headscarf) if she believed someone might be listening in on her.

Expatriate workers have messaged newspapers pleading with the Saudis not to stop their only affordable means of communication to their families back home.

 

 Update: News websites put to the sword...

Saudi impose restrictive censorship requirements on news websites


Link Here 14th August 2015  full story: Internet Censorship in Saudi...Communications under threat
Saudi flag The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns new restrictions that Saudi authorities will impose on news websites.

Saud Kateb, the spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information, said that the new requirements include having a commercial registration, an office space, and a municipal license. He also said that editors-in-chief should have college degrees and Saudi citizenship, among other conditions.

Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator said:

With these restrictions, the Saudi government is sending a clear message that it will be almost impossible for online media to operate with any autonomy. We are deeply concerned by these measures and call on the Saudi government to stop interfering with the flow of news and information.

The requirements will be enforced in October, at the beginning of the new year in the Islamic calendar. News websites have been warned that if they do not comply, they will be shut down and/or lose their license,

 

 Update: Extreme censorship...

Saudi internet censors block 600,000 websites


Link Here 18th March 2016  full story: Internet Censorship in Saudi...Communications under threat
Saudi flag Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission has blocked 600,000 websites over 2 years that contained pornographic and other prohibited materials.

Those who have published and promoted pornographic content will face extreme punishments of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of 3 million Saudi riyals (about $800,000).