Saudi Arabia Mulls Linking Twitter To IDs

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By Shaja Al-Buqami

Twitter users beware. Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) is currently studying the possibility of linking the access to the microblogging site with the personal identification of social media users, according to sources.

The move is likely to create ripples in the social media circles.

A source at the CITC described the move as a natural result of the successful implementation of CITC’s decision to add a user’s identification numbers while topping up mobile phone credit.

“The linking of Twitter registration inside the Kingdom with the ID number of a user could be implemented if Saudi Arabia seriously wants it,” Waleed Al-Khalil a Saudi expert in telecommunication technology, told Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday. The move requires an understanding between the CITC and the Twitter administration, Al-Khalil said.

Referring to CITC’s success in dealing with illegal facilities offered by some service providing companies in violation of CITC’s instructions, Al-Khalil said: “For instance, CITC recently canceled free international roaming service offered by some companies without its permission by strictly enforcing penal measures.”

The proposed move will ensure security and social control on Twitter users, Al-Khalil said expressing his total agreement with the idea.

Twitter administration said in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat in 2010 that it registered 25 percent growth in that year compared to 2009.

Dick Costolo, executive director of Twitter, said in July that Saudis are the fastest growing section on the Internet while Twitter is the sixth website Saudis browse daily according to the figures supplied by the Alexa website a leading provider of free, global web metrics.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz.

Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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