Morocco's telecommunications watchdog, the National Agency of Telecommunications Regulation (ANRT), remains under fire for casting itself in the role of an Internet policeman. The decision to attempt to block VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) calls on WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and Facebook, has made it very unpopular and now a lawyer has decided to take the regulator to court
The lawyer, Mourad Zaibouh, says there is a "legal vacuum" in the legislation and, "there is no law that prohibits the use of free telephone applications."
At the same time AVAAZ, an internationally respected activist NGO with 44 million members in 190 countries, has joined the fray over the blocking of online games. "Morocco Telecom has just blocked online games in Morocco. Moroccan Gamers require immediate release of the online game of all media, "said AVAAZ.
"The problem is serious! Moroccan professional players who wear the Moroccan flag in international tournaments are also deprived of online access to all the games," says the NGO.
AVAAZ has around 240,000 members in Morocco.
Sources, including Morocco World News are reporting that despite the fact that no official statement has been made about the situation, Moroccan online gamers have been unable to logon to their online games as usual.
An online petition was launched earlier today asking for the immediate release of online games. After only a few hours, the petition was signed by 7304 people. The blockage has caused outraged reactions on social media.
|"All the kids now have VPNs"|
However, most Moroccans have opted for the use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) on smartphones, laptops and tablets and continue to use Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook.
"Everyone knows how to get around the blocks," says Yusseff, a 22 year-old gamer from Boujloud in Fez, who competes under the Moroccan flag in international gaming tournaments. "And, on the street, all the kids now have VPNs."