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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cyber Crime Law In The Middle East



Do you remember that Kenyan foreign worker in Saudi Arabia who was jailed after he was caught chatting with a woman in Facebook. His mobile/cellphone was also confiscated and they found pictures of that woman he was chatting with.

We also have Raif Badawi, a blogger and a Saudi national who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes for his blog posts.




We really don't know the rules in Saudi Arabia for the use of internet or social media. But recently we also found out that the ministry has opened its own website to accept reports of harmful comments posted in the internet. It says "This service allows reporting harmful electronic comments on internet blogs". 



In a recent court ruling in UAE's Supreme Court, a man was fined for $800 after swearing at a colleague over an instant messaging application. Wherein the claimant presented his phone as proof of the insulting words he received from the accused. 

We can also recall what happened few months ago, when an American was jailed, fined and faced with possible deportation after he posted something on his Facebook page while he was on vacation in the United States (Read and watch the article here).
 In UAE, it is an offence to use the internet to mock or deride organizations and individuals. 
Their local media has reported that swearing at someone on Whatsapp could land you in jail and be fined with Dhs250,000 or $68,000. 

Anyone who swears, insults or use middle finger emoji could face jail, fine or deportation(for expats).

“Sending a middle finger emoji on a smartphone or even sending a middle finger picture through email can put you in trouble. It’s an insult in the UAE and the law can punish you with either jail of up to three years or a fine of up to Dhs 500,000 ($137,000),” criminal defense lawyer Abdullah Yousef al Nasir said. 


Whatever is the law they are trying to implement in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East, it would be better to be mindful always of what is being posted specially in social networking sites like Facebook. 
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