News & insights

Saudi Arabia: Arab Cybercrime Agreement Approved

August 10, 2012

The new Arab Cybercrime Agreement (no. 126 of 2012) was recently approved in Saudi Arabia. This agreement will mainly address the rise in electronic crime 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. It aims as well at encouraging cooperation between Arab countries in combating cybercrimes. The Agreement stipulates also on the importance of enforcing the Copyrights Law. Penalties are imposed on the violators of the Agreement terms and regulations.

By way of background, Saudi Arabia had previously issued a penal Law on cybercrimes which was comprised of 16 sections.

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 websites that advocate drug use or that contain pornographic material;

– Creating websites 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 websites 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

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