As open as we all would like technology to be the ground realities usually are different. Several products and services have had to live through bans and limitations from governments around the world.
The latest addition in this woeful list could be Skype.
Mobile phone users in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be in for a rude surprise, with news coming out that the government there plans to ban messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber along with Skype.
The reason, you ask? Power and control, what else!
According to ArabNews, The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has initiated plans to ban all three services because Viber, WhatsApp and Skype use encrypted connections that cannot be monitored by the government.
Intense discussions have been going on between the heads of various telecommunication companies and CITC during the last 20 days. With not so positive conclusion, it may be said.
This could leave the millions of cell phone users in the country out in the cold.
Saudi Arabia is famous for its draconian rules and censorship in the past, particularly with regards to communication platforms and Internet — services like Twitter know this all too well.
No surprises then, to see that Skype (and friends) is now the target of the government.
Sources claim that the CITC is now demanding all three services to install monitoring capabilities so that the commission can track and decrypt any and all conversation going through these platforms.
Microsoft is yet to say something official on this matter, but more updates should soon follow.