Saudi Arabia sets up new commission to boost cybersecurity

Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban
Updated 02 November 2017
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Saudi Arabia sets up new commission to boost cybersecurity

RIYADH: King Salman has set up a new cyber authority to protect information technology networks, systems and data, and improve online security for companies and individuals.
The National Cyber Security Commission will be linked to the office of the king and will “boost the cybersecurity of the state and protect its vital interests, national security and sensitive infrastructure,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
The king appointed Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban to chair the new commission. A Harvard graduate, Al-Aiban is a member of the Council of Ministers and has been a minister of state since 1992. The heads of state security and intelligence, the deputy interior minister and an assistant to the minister of defense will serve on the new body.
Al-Aiban said the commission would be the competent authority for cybersecurity, and aimed to maintain the privacy of all vital data of the state, individuals and companies in the private and public sectors.
He said it would protect networks, IT systems, operating systems, hardware and software components, services and data, taking into account the increasingly vital importance of cybersecurity in the life of individuals and the community.
Al-Aiban said his priority was to deploy qualified national staff to build partnerships with public and private bodies and organizations to take safety measures to ensure the country’s cybersecurity.
The new commission will provide a platform for young Saudis, both men and women, to take part in the national effort to strengthen cybersecurity, DNJ Technologies Chief Executive Othman Al-Robaish told Arab News.
Naif Al-Rashid, a Saudi journalist in Riyadh, said strengthening cybersecurity would increase the confidence of Internet users, not only individuals but also government entities, security facilities, financial houses, foreign investors and others who transacted business online.


US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Updated 18 November 2018
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US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

  • A US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case
  • ‘The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts’

JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case. 
“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”

But President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration would get “a very full report,” including who was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, on Monday or Tuesday.
The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects. 
On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 
Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed. 
“I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said
Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post.
He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents.