Egypt’s government may ban internet based communications services such as Viber and Whatsapp, Minister of Communication, Atef Helmy suggested Saturday.
Helmy’s statements came only one day after a leading IT solutions provider warned Thursday that telecommunications sector in Egypt should diversify service offerings or face shrinking business.
Prologix said, in a statement, that Smartphone penetration and abundance of internet based communications services eating away at revenues.
Helmy said Saturday that a government committee is examining the legal situation of the online communication applications to decide on its usage in Egypt.
The committee will probe if these apps pose a threat to the national security of Egypt in case being used by terrorist groups in communicating with each other, Helmy said.
“The committee will announce its decision after concluding a report which will address suspicions over the possibility that these apps are being used by terrorist groups,” the minister added.
“The government will take necessary measures against any application or service that doesn’t conform to the Egyptian law,” Helmy said.
Viber provides free online calls and texts for over 250 million people across the world, according to Wikipedia.
On another hand, Helmy denied any tendency to restrict social media websites, Facebook and Twitter, however the work of the two websites are being discussed by a government committee.