UAE may lift ban on WhatsApp calls, says head of cybersecurity authority

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This could be brilliant news…

It looks like residents in the UAE may soon be able to make WhatsApp calls, which are currently blocked.

In an interview with CNBC, the head of the country’s digital security authority, Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, said that the UAE was working closely with tech platforms such as WhatsApp on a number of national security initiatives.

According to CNBC, Al Kuwaiti, who is executive director of the UAE’s National Electronic Security Authority, said: “There might be a lift of that ban for (WhatsApp) voice calls… and this is going to happen soon, this is what we know and understand from the telecommunication authority here in the UAE.”

He added that collaboration with WhatsApp had increased, and that the platform had a good understanding of the country’s approach to telecoms regulation.

 

Currently, Skype, WhatsApp and Snapchat calls are all banned in the UAE under the country’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) policy, with the only VoIP apps available to use in Dubai and the UAE are Botim and C’Me. Both of these are paid for services offered by du and Etisalat respectively.

In April 2018, it was reported that the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was in talks with both Microsoft and Apple to look at the possibility of lifting restrictions on services like Skype and FaceTime.

However, no further indication that this will happen has been given.

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Images: Getty