Privacy violators on Web face tough punishments

Updated 06 December 2012
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Privacy violators on Web face tough punishments

“Anyone who re-sends messages (via mobile phones and smartphone applications) that violate the sanctity of the private lives of citizens through insult, mockery, and violation of the sanctity of public morals, religious values and public order, will be sentenced of five years in jail, in addition to a fine of SR 3 million,” the former vice chairman of the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced recently.
Awad Alassaf, a prominent lawyer, said that criminal intent is required in these crimes. The judge will study the evidence provided by the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution.
Anyone on the receiving end should file a claim to either a police station or the Ministry of the Interior through its website.
IT crimes expert Hussein Sindi confirmed that official bodies could track spammers and abusers across smart devices and social networking sites and added that the number of accounts in WhatsApp and Facebook are higher than those of Twitter and BlackBerry.
He said that the reason for this is the fact that software such as WhatsApp and Facebook take into account society’s particularities. These two cooperate with official bodies, unlike Twitter and BlackBerry, which protect the privacy of the individual in the first instance.
As for computer-related crimes, an anti-cyber crime law has been enforced to achieve a balance between the interests of society and the presence of modern technology. Alassaf has said that the law defines computer crimes as any crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer, as any electronic device, fixed or movable, wired or unwired, contains a data processing system where sent or received data is stored. This definition includes computers, laptops and mobile phones.
Alassaf emphasized the fact that Article 3 of the system provides for an imprisonment of one year with a fine of SR 500,000 for any person committing information-related crimes such as illegitimate threats or blackmail. An example of this includes illegal access to a woman's e-mail, Facebook or Twitter account.
Another passage of the article concerning information crimes involves violating the personal life of an individual through misuse of mobiles with cameras. This is most notably applicable when a woman gets her mobile fixed and the technician reads or views the content inside or uses this content for his own ends. This is a punishable crime.


Thousands of participants register in the upcoming Quran and Athan competitions

Updated 52 min 8 sec ago
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Thousands of participants register in the upcoming Quran and Athan competitions

  • Total prizes for the competition are worth $3.2m
  • The final stage of the competition will end on October 25

DUBAI: More than 13,000 participants from 162 countries registered in the Quran Recitation and Adhan competitions, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) said in a statement.
The GEA allocated $3.2 million in prizes for the largest Quran competition and the first Adhan competition, which aims to highlight the diversity of the Islamic world cultures through the different styles of recitation and Adhan, and improve the image of Islam and Muslims globally.
The competition hopes to encourage the Muslim youth to recite the Quran and experience performing the Adhan.
The registration opened on May 22 and will continue accepting applications until July 22. The applicants will be then shortlisted from July 22 until August 23 as the competition progresses in its second stage.
The on-stage live performances will begin on August 24 and last until September 24 and winners will be announced and awarded throughout the final stage, which will run from September 25 and conclude on October 25.