The free internet messenger and calls service Viber has been shut down in Saudi Arabia as it has failed to comply with local regulations. The Communications and Information Technology Commission in the country has also issued a warning it’ll do the same to other applications and services that don’t comply with the regulations.
Quarts reports that Viber. Skype and WhatsApp have received a warning from the Saudi telecommunications regulator back in March. The shutdown could be a result of a failure of Viber to provide the CITC a local server to monitor user activity.
The report suggests that there might be more than regulations at play here. In addition to the Saudi Arabia’s authoritarian regime’s desire to monitor user activity and keep track of social unrest, telecoms are losing revenue as services like Viber, Skype and WhatsApp are becoming users’ choice for placing international calls and texts.