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Saudi’s information ministry has said that it is planning to introduce new regulations to control news websites in the kingdom.
May 27, 2009 12:48 by Aarti Nagraj
“We have … what we call electronic crimes – any kind of violation related to computer and technology and so on,” Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour Al Turki told the Christian Science Monitor last year. “And I believe his main case was like violating personal rights…. Like when I go for example on the internet or I go on any electronic media and I use your name and your personality and I criticize … or offend you without being able to introduce evidence of what I’m saying.”
Farhan’s blog was blocked by Saudi censors in April 2008, and currently says that it is under construction.
According to a recent report by Reporters Without Borders (RWB), more than 20 countries now use increasingly sophisticated blocking and filtering systems for internet content; its “enemies of the Internet” list included Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Egypt , and Syria among others.
Saudi Arabia has been blocking internet content since 2001, and according to RWB’s annual report for 2008, “online freedom is threatened by every complaint filed against online journalists or webmasters” in the country.
Will Saudi’s new regulations to monitor news websites improve its reputation as one of internet freedom’s worst offenders?
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