Oman has blocked the audio chat app Clubhouse citing a lack of proper sanction from the local authorities, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) confirmed on Monday. TRA is yet to confirm whether the ban is a temporary restriction or a permanent suspension.
The social app's blockade has been trending on social media platforms with hashtags, calling out for intrusion upon freedom of expression. When directly accessing Clubhouse, users in Oman had received error messages and had to use it through a virtual private network (VPN), according to local media.
Club House is a much-celebrated app that is very similar to live audio streaming, allowing its users to share their thoughts and stories, build friendships within chat groups around the world. Though Clubhouse is now amongst world's popular apps, it is currently available only to IOS users.
Earlier, Saudi technical expert Abdul Aziz Al Hammadi stated in an interview with Al-Arabiya that the app contains security vulnerabilities that threaten the privacy of app-handlers. He pointed out that the application is still in its infancy and is vulnerable to major security breaches.
A report by the Stanford Internet Observatory revealed security flaws in the social app and had advised to review data protection practices. After several reports flashed about users' data vulnerable to access from the Chinese government, Clubhouse publicized that the company was not in favour of making the app available in China.
The invite-only social network platform recently engrossed a mass of users in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait which has caused several sensitive topics related to the GCC countries to a widespread debate in the audio-oriented app.