RIYADH — The Ministry of Interior has introduced a bylaw to the cyber crime law which addresses personal attacks and insults against others. The ministry has added a complaint form on its website to receive notices about malicious remarks and comments directed against users on the Internet.
The complainants need to fill the form and include the site in which the offensive material appeared. The ministry’s measure is meant to curtail personal offensive comments in general and cyber crimes in particular.
The cyber laws aim at combating cyber crimes by identifying such crimes and determining their punishments to ensure enhancement of information security, protection of rights pertaining to the legitimate use of computers and information networks, protection of public interest, morals and common values and protection of the national economy.
The laws criminalize those who are involved in the construction or publicizing of a website used by terrorist organizations to facilitate communication with leaders or members, finance them, promote their ideologies, publicize methods of making incendiary devices or explosives, or any other means used in terrorist activities. The law stipulates that any person found guilty of any of these crimes shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years and a fine not exceeding SR5 million.
The law is meant to achieve a balance between the interest of society in making use of the modern technology and the interest of the individual. The law has been shaped in a manner to protect public interest, morals, general principles and national economy.
Faisal Al-Saif, the producer and presenter of Tech Pills, a weekly YouTube show, said the form developed by the Ministry of Interior will help the general public to understand all types of cyber crimes already defined in the anti-cyber crime law. He said the ‘personal attack’ form is also meant to enlighten users about their rights and how to defend them.
The number of personal cyber attacks has increased tremendously in the Kingdom. Most of them are channeled through social networking sites to display displeasure against a particular individual or his/her views. Such attacks are often accompanied by photoshopped photos of the victim. The newly introduced bylaw is meant to address this issue. — SG