OTT crackdown in Pakistan for security reasons - report - Mobile World Live

OTT crackdown in Pakistan for security reasons – report

04 OCT 2013
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Authorities in Pakistan have banned a range of OTT communication services, including Skype, Whatsapp and Viber, in the Sindh province for three months. A government spokesperson, reported by Reuters, said the crackdown was for security reasons.

Provincial information minister Sharjeel Memon did not reveal how closing down these services would improve security, but the country’s security services – according to Reuters – say instant messaging and internet telephony are used by militants and other armed groups to plan attacks.

It’s not clear either if Pakistan’s other three provinces will follow suit, or if the ban can be enforced.

Officials from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority did not return Reuters’ calls requesting clarification.

In Saudi Arabia, authorities have already banned Viber and have threatened to block other OTT messaging services for apparently falling foul of local laws. It’s not clear, however, what the non-compliance issues are.

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Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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