By Ahlam Ben Saga
By Ahlam Ben Saga
Rabat- Saudi Arabia announced in a press release on Monday, April 2, that “spying” on spouse’s phone is now considered a criminal offence, and is punishable by a fine of SAR 500,000 (USD 133,000) and one year in jail.
Among the many recent changes in law provisions–including allowing women to drive, to attend concerts, and to apply for jobs in fields previously unavailable to them–Saudi Arabia has now adopted an anti-cybercrime law on “spying,” states Saudi Arabia’s Center For International Information:
“Married individuals planning to spy on their spouse in Saudi Arabia will need to think twice, because they could potentially attract a fine of SAR 500,000 (USD 133,000, or EUR 108,000), along with a year-long prison term.”
The new law prohibits the act of “snooping” through a spouse’s personal data or gaining illegitimate access to their computers or mobile phones with intentions of blackmail.
“Spying, or interception of data transmitted through an information network or a computer without legitimate authorization,” or “unlawful access to computers with the intention of threatening or blackmailing someone into taking or refraining from an action (be it lawful or unlawful),” emphasized the same source.
The press release added that harsher punishments will fall upon those who delete, erase, leak, or destroy another person’s data.
“Unlawful access to computers with the intention to delete, erase, destroy, leak, damage, alter or redistribute private data…Offenders could be jailed for maximum of four years and fined up to SAR 3 million.”
This law came as a response to an increase in cyber crimes, such as blackmail, embezzlement, and defamation in Saudi Arabia.