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Saudi Arabia Internet Filtering



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  • 1. Saudi Arabia Internet Filtering By: Andrew Sirles
  • 2. Table of Content
    • Government Overview
    • Smart Filter
    • ISP Regulations
    • Council of Ministers Rules
    • Web Sites Blocked
    • Citizen’s Input
    • Summary
  • 3. Government Overview
    • Proxy for all internet traffic in King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology
    • Secure computing with Smart Filter
    • Council of Ministers set legal basis of filtering
    • ONI’s substantial category RSF internet enemy list
  • 4. Smart Filter
    • Largest and most sophisticated internet-censoring system in the Middle East
    • ISPs route all traffic through ISU
    • Based on U.S. internet technology
  • 5. ISP Regulations
    • Necessary Licenses
    • Keep detailed records of all users
      • Purpose of use
      • Time spent
      • Addresses accessed
      • Size and type of files accessed
    • Provide authorities with records when requested
  • 6. Council of Ministers Rules
    • Anything contravening a fundamental principle or legislation, or infringing the sanctity of Islam and its benevolent shari’ah, or breaching public decency;
    • Anything contrary to the state or its system;
    • Reports or news damaging to the Saudi Arabian armed forces, without the approval of the competent authorities;
    • Anything damaging to the dignity of heads of states or heads of credited diplomatic missions in the kingdom, or that harms relations with those countries;
    • Any false information ascribed to state officials or those of private or public domestic institutions and bodies, liable to cause them or their offices harm, or damage their integrity;
    • The propagation of subversive ideas or the disruption of public order or disputes among citizens;
    • Any slanderous or libellous material against individuals.
  • 7. Web Sites Blocked
    • Aggressive Censorship:
      • Pornography
      • Drug Use
      • Gambling
      • Religious Conversion of Muslims
      • Filtering Circumvention Tools
  • 8. Web Sites Blocked (cont.)
    • Less Aggressive Censorship
      • Gay and Lesbian Issues
      • Women’s Rights
      • Politics
      • Extremist Groups
      • Most Religions
      • Alcohol
  • 9. Citizen’s Input
    • Blocked pages can be requested to be unblocked (will alert authorities)
    • Unblocked pages can be requested to be blocked (more common)
    • Parents, teachers, etc can request for additional internet security packages for children
  • 10. Summary
    • Considered among the heaviest censored nations with high surveillance
    • Believed to use censorship to keep citizens from straying away from their culture
    • Hackers use security as a sort of business to encourage citizens to spend money for access