“Ahmed Omran, a Saudi blogger who runs the Riyadh Bureau site, says that Saudi telecom companies may be tempted to go along with the request from the regulator – even though it will upset their customers – because of the loss of revenue they suffer from the free apps, which are hugely popular in the country.”
This is an interesting example of how telecoms may be forced to adhere to unjustified government mandates in order to survive. However such rigid top-down policy enactments have backfired in the recent past. Does the Saudi Arabian government not remember what happened in Egypt when they attempted to block internet service providers? It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
“The explosion in social media networks has had a big impact in Saudi Arabia, which has the highest take-up of Twitter in the world, reports the BBC’s Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher.”