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.


Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

The marketing plan of the village has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. (Shutterstock)
Updated 14 min 56 sec ago
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Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

  • “Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” Suzan Eskander said

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah will host a multicultural festival that takes visitors on a virtual tour of 50 countries.
The global village will be set up inside Atallah Happy Land Park along the city’s famous waterfront every day from 5 p.m. to midnight between Feb. 28 and March 29.
The event is one of many aiming to enhance tourism, as well as the local economy.
Suzan Eskander, director-general of International Image, the organizing company, told Arab News that the village is expected to attract 1 million visitors.
“Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” she said.
“There will be pavilions for participants from five Gulf Cooperation Council states, 10 Arab countries, 18 African countries, 10 European countries and four countries from the Americas.”
She added that folkloric dances would be performed by bands from each country.
“Performers will be dressed in traditional costumes,” she said. “Visitors can also enjoy dishes and traditional products from different countries.”
Eskander also said paintings portraying heritage and culture in the different countries would be on display.
“In addition, we are hopeful that the children’s zone will wow young visitors,” she said. “Little guests can develop their skills in drawing and games, as well as play zones.”
Eskander said the village was timed to coincide with the city’s good weather season, adding that a marketing plan has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. Eskander expressed her gratitude to the General Entertainment Authority for their continued support and cooperation.
“They have not only provided us instructions for obtaining the festival’s license, but are still following up to ensure that everything is going smoothly,” she said.