News & insights

Saudi Arabia: The Age of Cyber War

June 15, 2007

The Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers issued on March 26, 2007 Decree no. 79 promulgating a new penal law on Cyber Crime for the first time in the country. This law addresses the rise in electronic crime in the country which embraces such crimes as credit card frauds, internet crimes, cyber terrorism, creation and/or distribution of viruses, hacking, system interference, illegal access and interception, and so on.

The law (comprised of 16 sections), which was prepared by the Kingdom’s Commission for Telecommunications and Information Technology, will become effective in the country after 120 days from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

The penal features of the law include the following:

Crime

Fines

Imprisonment Term

– Having knowingly accessed a government network without authorization, and by means of such conduct having obtained information that has been determined by the Saudi government to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national security;

– Using the internet in support of  terrorism.

Up to 5 million Saudi Riyal (around US $1.3 million)

Not exceeding 10 years

– Creating web sites that advocate drug use or that contain pornographic material;

– Creating web sites or programs that violate any of the Kingdom’s general laws, Islamic values or public ethics.

Up to 3 million Saudi Riyals (around US $800,000)

Not exceeding 5 years

– Having accessed a network without authorization with the intention of changing or damaging its content.

Up to 3 million Saudi Riyals (around US $800,000)

Not exceeding 4 years

– Using web sites to conduct fraudulent transactions

Up to 1 million Saudi Riyals (around US $260,000)

Not exceeding 3 years

– Having accessed a website without authorization with the intention of changing or damaging its content.

Up to 500,000 million Saudi Riyals (around US $130,000)

Not exceeding 1 year

Should you have any questions, or require any additional information, please contact us at info@sabaip.com