Smartphone users buzzing after KSA unblocks Internet calls

Updated 22 September 2017
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Smartphone users buzzing after KSA unblocks Internet calls

RIYADH: Saudi smartphone users were calling out with joy this week after the government lifted a ban on apps that allow video and voice services.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha earlier this month issued a directive to unblock calling apps that have met regulatory requirements, with users able to access them from Wednesday.
The move will make the likes of FaceTime, Snapchat, Skype, Line, Telegram and Tango available to smartphone users across the Kingdom.
Mohammed Ali, a Sri Lankan national who works in Saudi Arabia as a senior accountant, said he was happy about the move.
“I tried the apps Line and YeeCall, and was able to talk to my relatives back home,” he told Arab News.
“Many of us were spending a lot on calls in order to speak to relatives and friends.”
Iffat Aabroo, another Riyadh resident, said: “WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger calling was unblocked too as I made calls using both the online apps on Thursday ... the voice quality is also better.”
Zafar Hasan, a software engineer working in Saudi Arabia, told Arab News that he made calls using Imo, Skype and Tango. But despite repeated attempts, Viber appeared to remain blocked in the Kingdom, he added.
According to ministry sources, online calls will be monitored following the lifting of the ban.


Saudi official reveals new details about Khashoggi case to Reuters

Updated 2 min 32 sec ago
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Saudi official reveals new details about Khashoggi case to Reuters

  • Saudi official told Reuters that journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death was a result of a mistake from the negotiation team
  • The confusion of the negotiation team led them to cover up on the incident, the official told Reuters

DUBAI: The instructions of the head of the Khashoggi mission were based on a previous directive to negotiate the return of members of opposition, a Saudi official told Reuters in a report published on Sunday.

The source said that the primary reports on the mission were not accurate so they had to investigate further, and that journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death was a result of a mistake from the negotiation team.

The previous negotiation directive did not require the person in charge to obtain approvals from leadership, the official added.

According to the Saudi official’s reports to Reuters, primary findings showed that the death was a result of choking during at attempt to stop Khashoggi from raising his voice.

The negotiation team disobeyed orders, abused their authority and used violence, and there are 18 suspects in the Khashoggi case and they are currently detained pending an investigation, according to the official.

(Developing)