Saudi Arabia confiscates 4,000 devices for bootlegging sports channels during World Cup

Saudi authorities cracked down on the sale and use of broadcasting devices used to bootleg sports channels, ahead of the start of the FIFA World Cup occurring this month. (AFP)
Updated 17 June 2018

Saudi Arabia confiscates 4,000 devices for bootlegging sports channels during World Cup

  • Saudi authorities cracked down on the sale and use of broadcasting devices used to bootleg sports channels, ahead of the start of the FIFA World Cup occurring this month
  • ore than 8,000 such devices have been confiscated from retailers in the Kingdom “in the last few weeks”

JEDDAH: A new anti-piracy campaign toppled more than 4,000 devices in Saudi Arabia that hacked sports channels when agents conducted raids and confiscated them. Legal action has been taken against those involved in this illegal activity.
This is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Kingdom in its anti-piracy efforts. A spokesman for the Saudi Intellectual Property Authority (SIPA) ) told Arab News that the Kingdom is taking the issue seriously and is organizing and conducting raids in coordination with all concerned parties, and that more news would be announced later.
Earlier this month, Saudi authorities cracked down on the sale and use of broadcasting devices used to bootleg sports channels, ahead of the start of the FIFA World Cup occurring this month.
More than 8,000 such devices have been confiscated from retailers in the Kingdom “in the last few weeks,” according to authorities, who have launched formal proceedings against offending distributors.
The confiscated devices were destroyed in the presence of representatives from government agencies involved in the campaign. Saudi Arabia is expected to continue its oversight work against all outlets that may be committing such violations.
The scope of TV piracy in Saudi Arabia and the wider region is difficult to assess; research analysts IDC in 2015 estimated that illegal content distribution across the Middle East and Africa cost the industry more than $750 million per year.


Saudi Hajj ministry investigating how gift to pilgrims was wrongly labelled ‘anthrax’ 

Updated 24 min 19 sec ago

Saudi Hajj ministry investigating how gift to pilgrims was wrongly labelled ‘anthrax’ 

  • The Arabic word “jamarat" was inaccurately translated to “anthrax",  a dangerous infectious disease
  • Citing possible repercussions of the mistranslation, scholars want a probe to pinpoint responsibility

RIYADH: The Hajj and Umrah Ministry is investigating the inaccurate translation of the word “jamarat” into “anthrax,” which led to Sheikh Yusuf Estes making a video warning pilgrims of the mistake and its possible repercussions.

The translation concerned a bag that was a gift to pilgrims, containing small pebbles to use for the “stoning of the devil” upon their return from Muzdalifah. The bag had the correct original Arabic description, which roughly translates as “jamarat pebble bag,” whereas the English version of “jamarat” was translated into “anthrax,” a dangerous infectious disease.

According to SPA, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah was notified and opened an investigation with the contractor and translator on August 10, before handing them to authorities to take the necessary disciplinary action.

“Anthrax, where did they get that? They get it from Google, it’s not Google’s fault. Google allows people to tell the meaning of the different languages of words,” Sheikh Yusuf said in the video.

Google Translate, the free multilingual machine translator, relies on comparing large quantities of content between pairs of languages to establish patterns and, in most cases, determine the probability that certain words in one language will correspond with a set of words in another. 

HIGHLIGHT

The contractor and translator are being investigated for the inaccurate translation of the word ‘jamarat’ into ‘anthrax.’

Putting Google Translate to the test, Arab News used the platform to translate a name of a type of fish known in the region as “sha’oor” from Arabic to English. The scientific term for the fish is Lethrinus nebulosus, a type of emperor fish most commonly known as the green snapper or sand snapper.  

Google Translate’s translation was “thickness of feeling.”

Though it yields imperfect results, the service can be used at a pinch, though real human translators rather than artificial intelligence are far more likely to lead to more accurate translations.  

Speaking to Arab News, Dr. Gisele Riachy, director of the Center for Languages and Translation at the Lebanese University in Beirut, explained how the mistranslation of “jamarat” could have happened.

“We have two possibilities, it was either translated by Google Translate or the translator was provided with a single sentence and therefore didn’t understand the meaning of “jamarat,” she said.

“The translator may have not taken into consideration the general context of the word, which has certain religious connotations, therefore it should have been borrowed, translated by the “Stoning of the Devil” or even left as it is.”

Dr. Riachy said that the word anthrax cannot be translated without an accompanying adjective for a better explanation of the term.

“What surprised me is that when translating the word “jamarat” from Arabic to English, the word should have been accompanied with the adjective “khabitha,” or malignant in Arabic, for it to be translated to “anthrax” in English. That is why I am confused and I do not think Google Translate would have translated it into “anthrax” if the Arabic version didn’t include the word “khabitha.”

Sheikh Yusuf Estes’ video was intended for those who would like to take the small bags home as a souvenir or gift, sending a message that the mistranslation could cause the traveler trouble with customs in their own countries.