Bahrainis warned fake social accounts could invite terror charges

Police official urges public to ‘understand limits of free speech’

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Bahrainis warned fake social accounts could invite terror charges
By  Courtney Trenwith Published  August 27, 2014

A top Bahraini police director has urged the public to "understand the limits of freedom of speech" and warned that using a fake social media account may soon be made illegal.

Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science director-general Brigadier Abdulrahman Sinan said in a statement issued on Monday that some cases of defamation or anonymous comments on social media could be deemed to be terrorism.

He warned of "the risks involved in exploiting or posting fabricated news or impersonating individuals or organisations online," the statement, published by Gulf Daily News, says.

"This includes falsely claiming to talk on someone else's behalf.

"In some instances, with the regional situation as it is, the involvement in this sort of defamation and fraud, and other similar activities, could fall under the definition of terrorism."

He warned that continued misuse of the Internet would lead authorities to increase regulation.

The kingdom already bans numerous websites and has jailed bloggers and others who have posted comments on Twitter deemed to be offensive to the Emir.

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