VoIP and media access in Kuwait


In 2008, Kuwait banned Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. VoIP calls are encrypted and therefore undetectable, so it is still possible to use them. It is illegal, but many expats still use providers such as Skype, Net2Phone, and magic Jack.

Be aware that providers in Kuwait may be part of a scam – after you have paid money to them, they become “blocked” and you have no way to get your money back.

Media restrictions

Most media restrictions are limited to adult content websites. A good rule of thumb to employ is that if it is contrary to the tenets of Islam, it will probably be blocked.

Restrictions on freedom of speech

Kuwait's Ministry of Communication says that anyone publishing in Kuwait has the freedom of speech so far as they comply with the government's specifications. Essentially, this means that Kuwait will ban material that criticises its practices and institutions.

If you publish a lot of content on the internet, you may want to be careful about how you present Kuwait's government. It's unlikely you will attract the government's attention, and if you do the government will most likely block your site or profile (rather than arrest you). Nevertheless, you should use common sense. If you make a lot of polemic statements on political sites and blogs, you might want to make your profile anonymous or untraceable.

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Other comments

  • Ahmad Shakil, 15 April 2012 Reply

    VoIP BAN

    I will request Kuwait government to lift ban on VOIP in Kuwait. For expats with low income its not possible to afford international voice calls and be in touch with their families. For them only choice is VOIP.