The Internet is a global wide network area that connects many computer systems across the world. The internet has completely change our life. Also, it changed the way of how people interact with each other. It allows people to access to the new and entertain themselves easily, and it allows the business to be become global faster. The internet can be regulated as the television by the government. Regulating the internet can control what users can access, view, and control the activities that user can do using internet. The internet should be regulated for religious or moral reasons.
The internet in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is widely considered to have one of the most restrictive internet access policies. The internet service has first entered to Saudi Arabia in the year of 1994. The internet service at first was allowed only to the educational and medical institutions. The Saudi government spent two years building a controlled infrastructure so that all internet traffic would pass through government-controlled servers. After that In the year of 1999, the internet has become available to the public in Saudi Arabia. The primary object of the Internet service is to search and collect information, communication and writing blogs.
Saudi Arabia has established the (KACST) King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology, which is a governmental institution that is responsible for regulating the Internet websites by searches for any violation or breaches for the laws of Saudi Arabia.
The Websites that violates the Internet usage laws of saudi Arabia will be blocked. There are several reasons for blocking websites in Saudi Arabia such as:
· Websites that violate the Intellectual property rights like torrent and upload websites.
· Websites that contain Pornographic contents.
· Websites of gambling games.
· Websites that criticize the country’s foreign or internal policies
· Websites that are related to disagreement on Islamic faith.
Regulating the Internet in Saudi Arabia
Prince Naif provided a broad view of the range of measures adopted to regulate the Internet in Saudi Arabia these are:
Firstly, publicizing and spreading awareness among users regarding the regulations and the benefits drawn from their existence plus the damages
Caused by their absence.
Secondly, encouraging self and parental controls.
Thirdly, assigning qualified and knowledgeable personnel to monitor
Violations of the set regulations and rules.
Fourthly, utilizing electronic resources (hardware/software) to filter and avoid
As much as possible the people having access to contents considered as
Fifthly, criminalizing and punishing irresponsible users for wrongdoings.
From the view of Prince Naif above, Internet regulation is approached with the law, education, electronic and human monitoring and punishment of violators of laid down rules. Internet regulation relies on parental control, utilizes electronic resources, and criminal punishment is not spared either.
Dr. Ibrahim Saleh Al-Firaih, Head of Internet Unit at King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology, in his view:
“…bad crimes as they affect the national security or affect foreign relations of any other country. Lack of regulation exposes the state to danger and harm….
Technically, Internet service in Saudi Arabia is the same as in abroad. But there are some protocols that should be followed, services that shall be available and issues considered as being common for other people and us. The only difference between
Internet service in Saudi Arabia and other people Internet services are that we attempt
to protect our human values and our people from immoral sites. I can say that immoral sites are responsible for 99% of damage and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology attempt to deactivate those sites. Examples of such sites are sexual sites as well as sites that propagate drugs, sites that deal with gambling and the extreme websites that nobody can benefit from.”
The ways to adopt the internet regulation in Saudi Arabia is law and the most important document in this way was the resolution of the Ministers’ Council (163) dated 24/10/1997 permitting the Internet services in the Kingdom and assigning specific tasks and responsibilities of governmental agencies to prepare and organize the commencement of the service. The second way is the education of the citizens. The Saudi society is a traditional society whose values were defined by the Islamic religion. In this society, religious scholars, Ulama, and the family play important roles in the education of the society. The third way is Internet filtering and an imposition of fines and punishment for.
Regulating the Internet
Regulating the internet is desirable for many advantages as shown below:
Advantages of regulating the internet:
Regulating the internet will minimize and control the terrorist activity since the terrorist use the internet as the major medium to make their bid.
Limit the access to the harmful activities.
Regulating the internet will limit the published material by applying standards. It will prevent the content that contain violent, discrimination and hateful messages from being published online.
It will enhance and secure the copyright protection and the intellectual property.
Regulating the internet will allow only to access to the secure and reliable websites and block the harmful and dangerous websites.
By regulating the internet, the quality of life will be better.
It will make the stealing of the person’s identity very difficult whenever the users make online transactions because of the efficient online security.
Prevents cyber-bullying: it causes psychological harms by posting personal information (phone number or address) or to be insulted. In addition, cyber-bullying has negative impact on the working performance or academic performance. In some cases, it led to suicide.
o The government must set security standard for companies to secure themselves and their customers. regulating the internet reduce the privacy issues of the user. Thus, it leads to higher anonymity
Issues of regulating the internet
Regulating the internet limit the individual accessibility to various websites and contents. Thus, it limits and prevents the individual from explore new things.
Increase the government spending
Regulating the internet require manpower and money to be spent to create filters that will filter the contents of the websites.
Blocking the Internet Content
It agreed on that the illegal or inappropriate content must be blocked up. This might be the easiest and the fastest solution but not the best one,
Blocking the internet content might be considered as technical issue of Internet usage. Blocking internet content in some countries block the entire website rather than the linked that contain illegal or inappropriate content. The blocking of the internet content it will prevent the people from accessing the legal content of the internet. This will affect the people’s right to access the information. In addition, some of the websites might be blocked because they only contain in appropriate pictures even though if the content has no problems. That means when a website is blocked because it contains illegal content the access to the legal content on the website will also blocked.
The writers think that the internet should be regulated. The regulation of the internet is beneficial in different areas, such as protecting copyright and privacy, provide moral and ethical standards for the users. Some governments have already controlled and regulated the internet and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of them. Saudi Arabia has regulated the illegal internet contents from inappropriate websites to protect the security and safety of the internet users.