JEDDAH: The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has blocked more than 600,000 porn sites over the past two years, and warned that those peddling smut face five-year jail terms and fines of over SR3 million.
Faiyz Al-Otaibi, spokesman for the CITC, said the commission has experts that can find and block these sites. The setting up of such websites contravenes the country’s cyber laws, he said.
Al-Otaibi said the CITC also receives information from the public and private and public bodies about information that affects public morality, he was quoted as saying by a local publication on Tuesday.
Shoura Council member Nora bint Abdullah bin Idwan said dealing with the Internet has become a daily responsibility, with the aim to protect children and teenagers.
She said the results of many studies have shown the danger of young people accessing such sites. Most international surveys have discovered that 80 percent of young people accessing these sites are between 15 and 17 years of age.
About 34 percent of young people receive unwanted pornographic material while browsing the Internet. “We are aware of the severe risks to the psychological and social makeup of children if they are exposed to such material.”
She said some countries abroad fine porn sites and have laws to filter content on search engines. “There are significant efforts being undertaken by parliaments in the United States and Europe about the serious and grave consequences on children who watch porn. This seriously affects their psychological and physical health and might lead to violent and deviant behavior.”
She said the Kingdom needs to enact strict laws based on United Nations conventions on the rights of children to protect them from the adverse effects of watching pornographic material.
Aisha Hijazi, an assistant clinical psychology professor, agreed that pornography could severely affect the development of young people.