Anonymous cell phone users throughout Bahrain will have their services cut off by month end unless they provide personal information to their mobile operators.
Users are being warned by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in Bahrain as well as by phone operators Zain, Viva and Batelco that the required personal information must be registered before midnight on August 31st or these clients will have their service suspended.
This latest cell phone stand off is being pushed due to TRA regulations dating from July 2008. The implementation is designed to prevent anonymous users from using the law abiding mobile networks for illegitimate and possibly illegal activities and was put forward in the name of public safety and security.
In the past pre-paid numbers were being registered by anonymous users and many nations have found evidence that those accounts were involved in the coordination of criminal activities. The requirement to register personal details and provide valid identification before a pre-paid line will be issued is meant to deter that type of use.
The phone operators in Bahrain are in the process of contacting any nonregistered or incorrectly registered clients by leaving voicemails or SMS messages that notify them of the requirements and the registration deadline.Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News