Hello, I Just Woke Up In Soviet Union

1 Apr

… You know, the one in the Middle East.

To summarize the article I read today, Saudi Arabia now wants monitoring access to the free applications that allow families and friends to communicate worldwide, such as Skype and WhatsApp and Viber. Or it will go ahead ban the use of these apps in the country.

Keeping in mind the uproar when previous interruptions in communication happened, when they wanted to monitor Blackberry Messaging, I am hopelessly hoping it will not come to this. With a ban in our right to communicate with our loved ones, or the continuous monitoring of our conversation, what is this part of the world going to come to?

No real explanation has been given as to why they want to monitor these conversations themselves. Are they facing threats of international spies? You mean to say, the Iranians? Well, I am sure these spies will not be stupid enough to use such free applications, where the developers will be able to access them. I mean, seriously.

Then, they say it is because of loss of revenue because we do not use Saudi Telecom’s voice and text services. Hold on right there. Are we not using your data network, subscribing to your data packages, using your Wi-Fi networks, to be able to use these applications? And what are you giving us? Not even 1GB of internet – you are giving us 3G and HSPA data speed connection in packages of Megabytes. And we still buy them. We still spend SAR 5.00 for 24 hours of 100 free minutes, 100 free texts, and 100MB of internet. So, explain how are you losing your business? Saudi Telecom is a government owned company, and the government owns yet another company which generates over $300bn annually for them – Saudi Aramco. So, again, where is the loss?

Outside interest in the phenomenon has largely focused on how (Twitter) has allowed Saudis to express themselves in a public forum on social or political issues in an unprecedented way.

Yes, because well, freedom of speech is not a right granted to us. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of twitter users around the world, and you know why that is? Because the country doesn’t give us anything else to do!! It comes up with threatening laws and regulations, it doesn’t let us talk about them, and hence we use social media to express our views about them. What is so wrong about that? Saudi Arabia does not give us activities to keep busy either, like something fun and adventurous, so we tweet whatever comes to mind. If we had places to explore, arcades and amusement parks to go to, we would be busy having a life than creating one online. So, who is to blame for the massive number of Saudi Arabian tweeters?

Exactly.

And now, they want to monitor our Skype conversations. So now, women have to sit in front of the computer with their Abayas and Hijabs because some remote strange man is likely masturbating somewhere looking at a woman’s face, or getting aroused just hearing a woman’s voice even. So now, I also cannot receive pictures of my friends’ weddings without some stranger eyeing the bride.

So what is it that you really want Saudi Arabia? Access to our conversations, or the revenue you are losing? Why do you not make your reasons clear before you jeopardize the sanctity of the women in Saudi Arabia you so publically enforce? Does it fit your Shar’iah law for allowing this access, invading someone’s privacy, eavesdropping into the homes and problems of people?

Way to secure your reign as the Arabic Soviet Union. Way to go. We can only count on a massive protest from the whole population, which is the only thing that can save us and our right to our lives. Till then…

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