Saturday, September 24, 2016

Politics May Solve Free Voice Call Ban in Morocco

Moroccan citizens have been angry at the blocking of VoIP calls on the internet and see a ray of hope in the upcoming elections.  Ilyas El Omari, the leader of the Party of Authenticity (PAM) has promised to restore WhatsApp in Morocco if his party wins the legislative elections

Ilyas El Omari, "I will restore WhatsApp in Morocco"

The legislative elections scheduled to take place on October 7.

At a news conference last week, El Omari, secretary general of PAM, promised that if his party is elected and he becomes the head of government, Moroccan citizens will be able to make calls on WhatsApp.

According to a report carried by Morocco World News, El Omari did not provide any detail how he would keep his promise to restore phone service for WhatsApp, nor did he mention unblocking Skype, Viber, Facebook Messenger and all the other VoIP-based communication systems.

There was anger in Morocco since the beginning of this year when the major telecom providers colluded in blocking VoIP-based systems.

It turned out to be a relatively useless exercise as Moroccans quickly adapted to this loss by downloading various alternatives such as VPN (Virtual Private Networks) or using IP-altering programs like Hotspot Shield.

Despite the public anger and citizens' ability to avoid the blocking, Maroc Telecom, Inwi, and Meditel have refused to reverse their decision.

The Justice and Development Party is currently the ruling party since forming a coalition in November 2011. PJD advocates Islamism and Islamic democracy - they have been criticised for not opposing the VoIP blocking.

PAM, said El Omari in a recent interview with al Horra, stands “for the separation of religion from politics. If that means secularism, then we are secular. We stand for the concept of civil state, not a religious one,” El Omari said.

If PAM are elected, Moroccans citizens and business people, hope to be reconnected to the rest of the world on WhatsApp and the other VoIP systems.


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