Saudi Arabia applauds FIFA ‘red card’ for beoutQ pirate broadcaster

FIFA said it is taking legal action against beoutQ for illegal broadcasts of the World Cup. (AFP)
Updated 13 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia applauds FIFA ‘red card’ for beoutQ pirate broadcaster

  • FIFA says it will take legal action against the pirate TV channel, which has been illegally broadcasting the World Cup
  • Saudi Arabia says the move would supplement the kingdom's efforts to combat beoutQ

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia welcomed on Thursday FIFA’s announcement that it will take legal action in the Kingdom against a pirate TV channel illegally broadcasting the World Cup. 

Riyadh has denied allegations that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia and is working to combat its operations.

The Ministry of Media said the FIFA action would “supplement the relentless efforts by the KSA Ministry of Commerce and Investment in combatting beoutQ's activities and beIN’s illegal broadcasting within the country.”

The statement said this would reinforce Saudi Arabia’s efforts to protecting intellectual property rights within the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Media said it blamed beIN Sports, a subsidiary of the Al Jazeera Media Network, for “falsely and unfairly” connecting Saudi Arabia with beoutQ.

Saudi Arabia has banned Qatar-based Al Jazeera and beIN Sports from broadcasting in the country as part of a boycott against Doha over its support for extremist groups.

beIN Sports says it holds the rights to broadcast the 2018 World Cup in the Middle East and North Africa.

The ministry accused the network of providing a media platform for “terrorists to propagate their violent message.”

The statement reported on the Saudi Press Agency said that while beoutQ's pirate broadcasts have been available in the Kingdom, its set-top boxes are available in, other nations in the Middle East and North Africa and the pirate broadcasts are targeted at that region, including Qatar but also Eastern Europe.

The ministry said beIN Sports had engineered a smear campaign against Saudi Arabia.


Facebook asked to protect users in simmering Sri Lanka

Updated 17 November 2018
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Facebook asked to protect users in simmering Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka has been in crisis since last month with two men claiming to be prime minister
  • The United National Party wrote to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg asking the US firm not to cooperate with Rajapaksa’s administration

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s largest political party Saturday asked Facebook to protect the identity of its supporters, fearing a crackdown by what it called the “illegal” government.
The Indian Ocean nation has been in crisis since last month with two men claiming to be prime minister, MPs brawling in parliament and the administration paralyzed.
It began on October 26 when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe as premier and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa.
In chaotic scenes in parliament this week, Rajapaksa lost two votes of no confidence but he is refusing to go and Sirisena has yet to acknowledge the motions.
On Saturday Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) wrote to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg asking the US firm not to cooperate with Rajapaksa’s administration.
“We urge Facebook to refrain from disclosing information about... users of the platform to any officials of the illegal government unless it is properly sanctioned by a court of law,” the UNP said.
The UNP had also complained that its official page was blocked by Facebook on Thursday ahead of a mass rally it organized to express solidarity with Wickremesinghe, who insists he is still prime minister.
Sirisena ordered a ban on Facebook across Sri Lanka in March after blaming it for spreading hate speech and fueling intercommunal violence that led to the deaths of three people and destruction of property.
Since then, Facebook had said it was deploying more staff to identify and remove inflammatory material from Sri Lankan users.
This week Sri Lankans had to rely on social media to watch their lawmakers fighting and throwing chilli powder after the main telecommunications company stopped its live broadcast.