As this developed, Bello said the Saudi labor minister has given his go-signal for the repatriation of more than 200 Filipino in the kingdom, who were part of the larger number that availed of the amnesty for illegal migrants that the Saudi government announced on March 29.Bello said some of them might be able to fly home with Duterte when he leaves Saudi Arabia for Bahrain on Wednesday evening."We assumed that the reason they wanted it was to try to figure out ways to tap into our conversations, listen to what our users are saying, read messages," he said.
This has led to Wikipedia and Google translate being banned from 2006, as their translation services are seen as a way evading censorship.
Social media sites where members may be improperly dressed, exchange explicit material, or gamble, are also blocked.
So if you bring a harmless magazine into the country you may find it confiscated due to it containing images of women showing just too much cleavage or leg.
It is unlikely that you will get in any trouble over this offense if is an “honest” mistake, however if you bring a “lads mag” or real porn then you could find yourself on the next plane home (or worse!
Twitter was blocked until 2008, but since then its use has skyrocketed (in June 2012 alone the number of Saudi users grew by 3000 per cent), and has become particularly popular with the Kingdom’s female population, who have found it allows a degree of freedom not permitted to them in the ‘real’ world.
In addition to blocking websites considered immoral, the Saudi religious police (the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice) have requested permission to monitor social networking websites to prevent young people ‘get[ing] involved in negative practices away from the eyes of the Saudi authorities”.
Lately, even Whats App, a similar app is facing the threat as its service is harder to monitor and cuts into the revenues of local telecom companies as it allows messages to be sent over the internet for free.
CITC has planned to block Whats App in a couple of weeks before Ramadan if the service does not comply with local regulations.
In the wake of the Viber ban, there are now concerns that Whats App, Skype and the Tango messaging service may fall afoul of the Saudi authorities' desire to bring these new technologies under control.
A few weeks ago, this clear attempt to ensure that citizens in Saudi Arabia could be routinely spied upon when using popular new communication services would doubtless have prompted denunciations from Western countries of these clear threats to privacy and personal freedom.
After blocking the popular Internet messaging app, Viber and threatening to ban Blackberry's instant messaging service BBM, looks like Whats App is next up in line.