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Internet Filtering:Saudi Arabia<br />Ashley Meagher<br />Ethics of Cyberspace<br />Spring 1 2010<br />
Saudi Arabia’s Background:<br /><ul><li>Government: A monarchy with no written constitution or elected legislature
Population: 28,686,633
Literacy Rate: 78.8%</li></ul>Female: 70.8%<br />Male: 84.7%<br /><ul><li>Life expectancy at birth:</li></ul>total populat...
Internet in Saudi Arabia<br /><ul><li>Since 2000 Internet usage has increased from 1% to 10% (over 2.5 million users) of t...
There are 7.7 million internet users in Saudi Arabia as of 2008.
 Internet was introduced late here because of the governments’ concern about the regulating of the content.
Blogging in Saudi Arabia has tripled to an estimated 2,000--Half of these are women.
In 2005 the government tried to ban the country’s primary blogging tool, www.blogger.com . The ban was lifted after a few ...
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Internet Filtering: Saudi Arabia

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Internet Filtering: Saudi Arabia

  1. 1. Internet Filtering:Saudi Arabia<br />Ashley Meagher<br />Ethics of Cyberspace<br />Spring 1 2010<br />
  2. 2. Saudi Arabia’s Background:<br /><ul><li>Government: A monarchy with no written constitution or elected legislature
  3. 3. Population: 28,686,633
  4. 4. Literacy Rate: 78.8%</li></ul>Female: 70.8%<br />Male: 84.7%<br /><ul><li>Life expectancy at birth:</li></ul>total population: 76.3 years<br />male: 74.23 years<br />female: 78.48 years <br />
  5. 5. Internet in Saudi Arabia<br /><ul><li>Since 2000 Internet usage has increased from 1% to 10% (over 2.5 million users) of the population.
  6. 6. There are 7.7 million internet users in Saudi Arabia as of 2008.
  7. 7. Internet was introduced late here because of the governments’ concern about the regulating of the content.
  8. 8. Blogging in Saudi Arabia has tripled to an estimated 2,000--Half of these are women.
  9. 9. In 2005 the government tried to ban the country’s primary blogging tool, www.blogger.com . The ban was lifted after a few days, but censors choosing to block specific content were established.</li></ul>Above: Saudi women are most of the populations internet users. <br />
  10. 10. Legal Issues <br /><ul><li>The government of Saudi Arabia allowed public access to the Internet only after it was satisfied that regulatory framework could be put in place.
  11. 11. They use Secure Computing’s Smart Filter Software to identify sites for blocking.
  12. 12. King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) is responsible for overseeing Internet services in Saudi Arabia & for implementing governments censorship.
  13. 13. According to the Internet Services Unit (ISU) website, KACST is directly responsible for filtering pornographic content.</li></ul>Above: The logo is of the KACST<br />
  14. 14. Legal Issues Continued: <br /><ul><li>Other sites are blocked upon request from “government security bodies.”
  15. 15. There are also forms that Internet users may fill out to request sites they think should be blocked.
  16. 16. Over 90% of users try to access a blocked web site in Saudi Arabia.
  17. 17. The majority of the blocked sites have pornographic contents.
  18. 18. In 2001 Council of Ministers issued a resolution outlining content that Internet users are prohibited from accessing and publishing.
  19. 19. This forbids content “breaching public decency” material, “infringing the sanctity of Islam” , or “anything contrary to the state of its system.”
  20. 20. All users must have approval for any publishing.</li></li></ul><li>New Law 2006<br /><ul><li>It was approved by SaduiShoura (Advisory) Council in October 2006.
  21. 21. It criminalizes the use of the Internet to defame or harm individuals and the development of the web sites that violate Sadui laws or Islamic values or that serve terrorist organizations. </li></ul>Above: Two pictures of the Chamber where the Saudi Shoura (Advisory) Council meets.<br />
  22. 22. Other Facts:<br /><ul><li> “Immoral” social content continues to be a priority target for Saudi censors.
  23. 23. Numerous sites relating to alcohol, drugs, gays, lesbians, sex education, and family planning were also inaccessible.
  24. 24. “Blacklists” were created for selected categories such as:</li></ul>-Drugs<br />-Gambling<br />-Obscene<br />-Nudity<br />-Sex<br />-Dating.<br /><ul><li>Web pages of a few global free speech advocates are also blocked.
  25. 25. All pages of the Saudi Human Rights Center are blocked.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion:<br /><ul><li> They maintain a sophisticated filtering regime.
  26. 26. Social content & web-based applications are extensively filtered.
  27. 27. Additional political & religious sites are individually targeted for blocking.
  28. 28. Internet filtering in Saudi Arabia mirrors broader attempts by the state to repress opposition and promote a single religious creed.</li></li></ul><li>Sources<br /><ul><li>https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sa.html
  29. 29. http://www.kacst.edu.sa/en/Pages/default.aspx
  30. 30. http://committeetoprotectbloggers.org/tag/saudi-arabia
  31. 31. http://www.arabianbusiness.com/523599-saudi-council-approves-mortgage-law-amid-doubts
  32. 32. “Access Denied” Edited By Deibert, Palfrey, et al. </li>

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