Saudi Arabia reviews social media laws

Shoura Council member describes escalation in online attacks as 'cultural war'
Saudi Arabia reviews social media laws
By Helen Gaskell
Tue 03 Jun 2014 01:34 PM

Saudi authorities are reviewing the anti-cybercrime law, the Saudi Gazette reported.

The law will be amended to allow legal proceedings against social networking sites such as Twitter for allowing accounts that promote adultery, homosexuality and atheism.

According to the Gazette, Dr Fayez Al-Shehri, a researcher of new media uses and a Shoura Council member, told Al-Hayat Arabic daily there are around 25,000 accounts on Twitter targeting Saudis, around 4,500 accounts that promote atheism and that around 15,000-25,000 of these accounts are in Arabic.

Al-Shehri noted that he monitored a large number of accounts in different languages that appear and disappear in an organised manner. "This is a cultural war. These accounts are not published for pure financial gains," he said, adding that organised bodies are behind such targeted attacks, which were earlier conducted through traditional media.

The Anti-Cybercrime Law, which was approved by a royal decree in March 2007 is aimed at combating cyber crimes with a view to ensuring information security; protection of rights pertaining to the legitimate use of computers and information networks; protection of public interest, morals, and common values; and protection of the national economy.

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