Tell Saudi Arabia Not to Ban Popular Communication Apps

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Target: Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia

Goal: Stop Saudi Arabia from banning communication apps such as Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp.

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission recently announced that it is considering a ban on several communication apps, such as Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp. The government has claimed that these applications have failed to comply with requirements in Saudi Arabia, but has refused to specify what these requirements are. By banning popular modes of communication, which are used to communicate with people all over the world, Saudi Arabia is isolating its citizens.

Saudi Arabia has demanded that all communication companies used in the country allow the government to monitor calls and messages. Many companies who fail to comply with this demand for privacy reasons end up being banned. This means that Saudi Arabians are kept in relative isolation and deprived of unmonitored contact with the outside world. By denying citizens the right to communicate freely with people throughout the world, the government is demonstrating totalitarian control. Please ask Saudi Arabia not to ban popular communication apps.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,

Recently, your Communications and Information Technology Commission announced that popular communication apps, such as Skype, Viber, and WhatsApp, might be banned for failing to comply with national standards and requirements. Despite inquiries from media throughout the world, your government has failed to release what these requirements and standards are.  Some have speculated that the reason your administration is threatening to ban these apps is because they have refused to let the government monitor calls and messages.

Denying Saudi Arabians the ability to communicate with people throughout the world isolates them from our global community. As our world grows more and more technology oriented, it is important to encourage and allow communication on a global scale. If citizens are denied the ability to communicate with others, they are being denied a voice in the world and losing opportunities to chat with family and friends who may be hundreds or thousands of miles away. Speech and communication are among the most valued rights in the world and denying venues for speech is tantamount to denying freedom. Please reconsider your ban on these popular communication apps.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Johan Larsson via Flickr

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