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Jun 06

Viber banned in Saudi Arabia

Suspension of messaging application causes online upset.

A Blackberry phone display in Jakarta, Indonesia. EPA/BAGUS INDAHONO

Viber users in Saudi Arabia were dealt a blow when the popular Internet messenger application was suspended on Wednesday. In March, the Communications and Information Technology Commission warned Viber, Skype and WhatsApp that it would take "appropriate action" if local monitoring servers were not provided. Some interpreted the move as an act of political censorship while others pointed to the potential business motivations of Saudi telecom competitors like Zain.

After receiving concerned tweets from users, Viber mentioned its possible suspension on Twitter.