Repressive regulations target Internet freedom of expression

first_imgNews to go further March 9, 2021 Find out more June 8, 2021 Find out more Saudi media silent on RSF complaint against MBS Reporters Without Borders condemns the new regulations for news and information websites that culture and information minister Abdul Aziz Khoja announced on 1 January. They reinforce the government’s already draconian efforts to censor the Internet, which has nonetheless continued to be an unprecedented space for expression in Saudi Arabia.According article 7 of the regulations, online media, the websites of traditional media and sites offering audio and video content or advertising will now have to apply to the culture and information ministry for a licence that will have to be renewed every three years. An applicant will have to be a Saudi national, aged at least 20, have a high school qualification and will have to be able to produce “documents testifying to good conduct.”These provisions are very repressive. They subject online publications to government approval and are clearly discriminatory. The age limit and high school diploma requirement will deprive many young people of their right to free expression, while foreigners are barred by the nationality requirement.All these online media will also have to identify the company that hosts them. This will allow the government to force the hosting company to suppress the site or its content and thereby render it inaccessible throughout the world.Online forums, blogs, personal websites, distribution lists, electronic archives and chat sites will henceforth have to be registered. Bloggers will able to identify themselves “if they want,” but anonymity is clearly regarded as undesirable. Receive email alerts Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information According to the regulations, the ministry would also have to approve the editor of each online newspaper, who will be the guarantor of the site’s entire content. It is not specified whether the editor would also be held responsible for the comments posted by readers. After an outcry about this provision, the minister yesterday promised to modify it. The ministry will now just have to be notified of the editor’s name. Its approval will not be required.According to article 17, any violation of these provisions will be punishable by a fine or by the website’s partial or complete blocking, which could be temporary or permanent. The fines could be as high as 100,000 riyals (20,000 euros), which constitutes a veiled form of economic censorship as many sites would be unable to pay. The ministry reserves the right to extend the applicability of the regulations.Under a law on technology use that took effect in January 2008, operating a website that supports terrorism is punishable by up to 10 years in prison while distributing pornographic content is punishable by up to five years in prison. The same law also provides for jail sentences for Internet café owners who allow their computers to be used to distribute content that violates “the Kingdom’s values.”Saudi Arabia is one of the 10 countries that Reporters Without Borders has identified as “Enemies of the Internet”. Online censorship is ubiquitous. The authorities say they are blocking hundreds of thousands of websites. The latest sites to be blocked include Elaph (www.elpah.com) and the pages about Saudi Arabia on the Arabic-language version of WikiLeaks.An online political news magazine, Elaph recently ran a story about the impact in political circles of the release by WikiLeaks of US diplomatic cables revealing that Saudi officials had urged the United States to attack Iran’s nuclear reactors. Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Saudi Arabia News Organisation RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance RSF_en NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say April 28, 2021 Find out more News January 8, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Repressive regulations target Internet freedom of expression Newslast_img read more

DRI and ICCL Call for Department of Employment Affairs and Social…

first_imgBilly Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Previous articleLimerick GAA Club Championship Games in April PostponedNext articleUniversity of Limerick ‘likely’ to become location for COVID-19 ‘field hospital’ if hospitals become ‘overwhelmed’ Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads TAGSCoronaviruscover 19Keeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick Post NewsDRI and ICCL Call for Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to suspend PSC Requirement forJobseeker applicants during COVID-19 pandemicBy Staff Reporter – March 16, 2020 287 Email Advertisement Designed by FreepikDigital Rights Ireland (DRI) and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) today called for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) to suspend the unnecessary requirement for a Public Services Card for the thousands of applicants seeking social welfare support in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.DRI and ICCL have been raising concerns regarding the DEASP and the legality of the Public Services Card since summer 2017. The Data Protection Commissioner has already found that the PSC violates privacy laws in a number of ways and ordered the destruction of 3.2 million PSC records. The Government has refused to comply and the case is now in the Circuit Court.“Whether or not the PSC’s illegality is upheld by the Circuit Court is almost beside the point in the face of a global pandemic,” commented Dr TJ McIntyre, DRI’s chair. “‪Now is not the time to require people to undergo time consuming, non-essential processes to access essential financial supports.‬”Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “We are certain to see a rise in the number of layoffs and short time working in the coming days and weeks,” advised Liam Herrick, executive director of ICCL. “Anything that delays the ability of impacted workers to claim their social welfare entitlements and put food on their tables is unconscionable during a global health crisis. Any requirement to attend an Intreo centre for a mandatory face-to-face appointment, against health advice to practice social distancing, is simply unacceptable during this crisis.”“The PSC requirement extends the timeline from when people become eligible for social welfare payments to when they actually receive funds. This will leave laid-off workers who are normally paid weekly in a terrible situation,” pointed out McIntyre.The Government has acknowledged that the Department can manage claims via phone and email for applicants who are already in quarantine. This would ensure those customers will not lose out financially through non-attendance. We call on the Minister to set aside the unnecessary and unsafe PSC requirement for all applicants during Covid-19 and ensure that workers can urgently access the supports they need in this time of crisis. Linkedin WhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Print Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Twitter Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League openerlast_img read more