Saudi Communications commission obliges mobile network providers to block spam SMSs

A woman uses her mobile phone. (AFP)
Updated 13 December 2017
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Saudi Communications commission obliges mobile network providers to block spam SMSs

RIYADH: The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) this week urged mobile service providers to inform users of the quick solutions that can reduce spam text messages, SPA reported.

This is possible by allowing users to exit all the lists to which they have previously subscribed by sending a text message to one of the numbers dedicated for blocking spam, according to the CITC.

The CITC included several key bodies on white lists, from which users cannot unsubscribe like government bodies, major hospitals, universities, and schools.

In addition, the CITC urged mobile operators to undertake technical solutions within the next three months to allow users to automatically and fully control the kind and source of received text messages, which will protect them and reduce spam.

Spam text messaging, whether SMS (texts) or MMS (texts with photo or audio), is a multifaceted problem, and therefore, the CITC adopted a multifaceted approach that combines the application of regulations, international cooperation, the use of technology, raising mobile users’ awareness, and developing regulations for reducing spam.

For more on this topic, the CITC’s official website contains information on spam control regulations.


Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

Updated 55 min 21 sec ago
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Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

DAMMAM: A flight school in Saudi Arabia is opening its doors for women, following the end of a decades-long driving ban in the deeply conservative Muslim country where many social restrictions are easing.
Oxford Aviation Academy, a leading trainer and crew recruiter, has already received applications from hundreds of women hoping to start lessons in September at a new branch in the eastern city of Dammam.
“People used to travel abroad (to study aviation), which was difficult for women more than men,” said applicant Dalal Yashar, who aspires to work as a civil pilot.
“We are no longer living in the era were women were allowed (to work) in limited arenas. All avenues are now opened for women. If you have the appetite, you have the ability,” she said.
The academy is part of a $300 million project that includes a school for aircraft maintenance and an international center for flight simulators at the airport.
Students receive three years of academic and practical training, said executive director Othman Al-Moutairy.
A decades-long ban on women driving was lifted last month, as part of sweeping reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at transforming the economy and opening up its cloistered society.
The lifting of the prohibition was welcomed by Western allies as proof of a new progressive trend in Saudi Arabia, but it has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including against some of the very activists who previously campaigned against the ban.