Saudi Shoura to discuss proposed amendments to Anti-Information Crimes Law

:: The Shoura Council is today scheduled to discuss proposed amendments to several articles of the Anti-Information Crimes Law issued by Royal Decree No. (M/17) dated 8/8/1428.

The proposed amendments are contained in a report by the Committee on Transport, Communications and Information Technology, local media reported.

The amendments include the addition of a penalty for the use of information services in any form of abuse toward a person or a public institution, which will be considered a crime of defamation.

Punishment for the perpetrator will be a fine of not more than SR5,000 ($1,333) and imprisonment for a period of not more than one year.

The same punishment would also be imposed on those disclosing information of individuals or institutions, or disclosing ways to access information in any manner.

In its recommendation to the Shoura Council, the committee requested the amendment of some articles to limit the incidence of informatics crimes.

Modifying some articles of the law aims to keep abreast of the rapid developments witnessed by the technology sector and its various means and applications.

Fayez Al-Aziz Al-Harqan, and former council members Awad Al-Asmari and Jibril Arishi, who submitted amendments to the law, stressed that practical application of the law and technical developments proved that there was an urgent need to amend and add new materials to the Anti-Information Crimes Law.

The proponents attributed the proposal to the technical developments that followed the issuance of the law, the emergence of new forms of misuse of technology and networks, and the imbalance between the materials and the crimes that emerged as a result of the tremendous development of technology and its uses.

They stressed the importance of introducing changes to the overall objectives of the law, noting the misuse of electronic media at the levels of individuals and institutions.

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