No Skype For the Saudis?

March 28, 2013
By: Rory Lidstone

There’s no questioning the transformative effect that social media has had on the world. There are, however, those who continue to fight against it. Saudi Arabia is threatening a ban on encrypted messaging services, which includes Skybe, WhatsApp, and more, causing a major threat to communications.

The Saudi government seems to be taking a “if you can’t spy on them, ban them” policy with those sorts of apps. It is demanding a way to monitor the applications, and has given the companies one week to respond before putting a ban into place. However, there has been no explanation as to why it’s making such a demand, leaving us to speculate.

Saudi Arabia’s citizens have taken to social media networks and messaging services incredibly well. It allows them to express their thoughts, views, and opinions on all sorts of issues in a way that would normally put them at some kind of risk. Apparently the government there isn’t fond of the idea, and is trying to stop it now.

Of course, monitoring online chats and calls is a massive invasion of privacy, which would deny the citizens their private communications between friends and family, as well as a source of anonymity. Perhaps it is paranoia driving the government to make these demands and threats, but it is certainly not doing any good for its image or citizens.

Fortunately, even if the ban goes through, people will find another way to communicate. There are so many apps available now, and more keep being made, so should one be shut down, another will take its place. People have the right to communicate with one another with privacy, and should they be denied that through one means of communication, they will find another. But that doesn’t mean anyone should stand for anyone attempting to ban or monitor what we currently have.




Edited by Ashley Caputo