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Saudi Arabia announces new Web publishing law

Registered users: Online newspapers and blogs based in Saudi Arabia will now need to register with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to operate. The new guidelines and rules will be added to the current publishing and printing law.

Online newspapers and blogs based in Saudi Arabia will now need to register with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to operate. The new guidelines and rules will be added to the current publishing and printing law.

Abdul Aziz Khaja, Minister of Information and Culture, stressed that the list is a tool of regulation – rather than restricting freedom of speech. He said it is in line with the development moves that the media sector is witnessing in Saudi Arabia. He added that the rule is open to amendments and improvements.

The Ministry of Culture and Information has made the new law available for download on its website. Part of it details the forms of electronic publishing that the law applies to, which include electronic journalism, forums, blogs, broadcasts via mobile, mail lists and chat rooms.

Turki Al Rougi, editor-in-chief of Al-Wiam online, in an interview with http://Arabnews.com, said that the fines can be as high as SAR 100,000 (more than USD 25,000), which website owners simply cannot afford as they are mostly individuals, unlike print publications which are owned by big establishments and publishing houses.

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Date posted: January 7, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 142