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Egypt considers banning Viber, WhatsApp

Egypt's telecommunication regulating body is considering barring these mobile applications for their impact on investments and security

Ahram Online, Saturday 8 Jun 2013
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WhatsApp logo (Photo: Internet)
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Views: 20969

Egypt plans to block widely-used applications Viber and WhatsApp on economic and security concerns, a state telecommunication senior official tells Ahram Online on Saturday.

Head of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Amr Badawy said a committee has been formed to monitor those mobile applications and will decide whether to ban, allow free usage or restrict them somehow.

"These applications allow subscribers to make free calls, messages and share files while their sources remain unknown. Pre-paid applications will face losses," Badawy explained.

WhatsApp is a very popular app that allows for free chatting, while Viber allows for free international phone calls. Viber, one of the top cell phone apps, was developed by an Israeli company.

Recently Saudi Arabia's telecom regulator banned the web-based communication application, saying it is difficult for the state to monitor and deprives licensed telecom companies of revenue from international calls and texts.

"The Viber application has been suspended ... and the [regulator] affirms it will take appropriate action against any other applications or services if they fail to comply with regulatory requirements and rules in force in the kingdom," a statement reads on the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) website.

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mwanajuma mmanga
10-06-2013 01:37pm
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hi!
Thank you for joining .hamjambo
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Farid
10-06-2013 10:01am
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Lets Scare People With Israelian Company
Perfect psychology technique for Arab countries - let's spread the news that Viber is Israeli company... Please read the facts, before publishing it: Viber Media is a Cyprus-based company with development centers in Belarus and Israel. The company was founded by American-Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco. The company is funded by individual investors. As of May 2013, $20M were invested in the company. (wikipedia)
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iHateVodafoneEG
09-06-2013 01:09pm
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I dare you EG Gov.
How stupid EG Gov.! Ban what? haha Its not called free internet for nothing. Technically its impossible, Proxy and VPN will pave the way.
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Egyptian Citizen
09-06-2013 12:42pm
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Protecting its own investments
The government's decision to block these applications is based on their intention to launch a 4th network owned by the government and do not want to lose estimated revenue. They are not protecting the other networks, nor are they protecting the customers; their only interest is self-interest as usual.
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zakki
09-06-2013 12:17pm
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security of state
They will ban it for security reasons :) Why, when Affairs of State Security and Secret Attack Plans are here sendet by TV :)
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narendra singh deora
09-06-2013 05:38am
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whatsapp
whatsapp
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Ant
09-06-2013 01:48am
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Ugh..
What an absolutely dire message. Help further humanity by allowing the people to communicate for free? no! there's important rich men we need to please first, the people second.
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Whatsapps user
08-06-2013 09:15pm
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We against it
So stop abusing prepaid user. Make no sense when a call n message cost more than LE0.25 per message/minute. Other countries message n call cost cheaper than this. And please upgrade the internet. We have been paying an unreasonable price for the internet sevice.
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Shady bliss
08-06-2013 05:00pm
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...
Developed by an *Israeli* company & YOUR annoyed its free?. ..... What has the world come to...
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Syamsuddin F.
08-06-2013 04:47pm
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Selfish government
ALL the mobile telco in Egypt are private companies. Letting these free apps don't have any effect on the government's economy. The call and SMS rates implied on consumers in Egypt are very high compared to other developing countries. What next? Ban facebook, twitter, youtube, email, yahoo messenger because these things are free? The government should DO THEIR JOB TO LESSEN THE CITIZENS' BURDEN, not helping the private companies to get richer. What a stupid stupid suggestion.
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