Censorship in the Islamic world, as seen in the House of Saud
Saudi Arabia is studying ways to regulate locally-produced YouTube content, including the possibility of requiring government-issued licenses for some users, said an official on Sunday.
Riyadh Najm, the president of The General Authority for Audiovisual Media, said his agency is still trying to figure out which type of YouTube content-producers would be affected and how the government agency would apply new regulations.
"We do not have a clear way yet implement to this," Najm told The Associated Press. "It is not clear who will be asked of this... it is all under study."
YouTube's parent company, Google, said it had no comment on the matter.
The kingdom has taken other steps recently to regulate online media, ordering dozens of Internet news outlets to stop operating for not having the required licenses.
Najm says the aim of studying new regulations is to find ways to better manage the explosion of YouTube content coming out of the kingdom and to ensure users respect the country's conservative Muslim norms. He says his agency, which operates under the Ministry of Culture and Information, is not seeking to stifle online creativity or expression.
Yawn. They are, and won't admit it under the taqqiya approach. Forcing internet sites to get a license to operate is exactly how they're choking off free speech in that horrendous country.
Najm explained that there are "widely accepted" norms in Saudi society against insulting another person or groups of people. Public criticism of the king, for example, is strictly prohibited.
More than a dozen Saudis in the past weeks have posted video statements on YouTube sharply criticizing the royal family and demanding change. At least three of those who appeared in videos have since been arrested, along with seven others connected to the videos, security officials have told the AP.
More recently a Saudi sports journalist was sentenced to three months prison and 50 lashes for defaming presidents of two Saudi soccer clubs on Twitter. He was also banned from Twitter for three months, according to local Saudi state media reports.
It's clear that floggings for even the most trivial of matters are still prevalent in Saudi Arabia, and that's not likely to stop soon.
Labels: communications, House of Saud, islam, political corruption