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Saudi mulls new law to govern news websites

New committee to hold talks on licensing electronic press, fines for violations

New committee to hold talks on licensing electronic press, fines for violations.
New committee to hold talks on licensing electronic press, fines for violations.

Saudi authorities are to consider putting in place new regulations to govern internet news websites, it was reported on Thursday.

The new law would make them accountable to a single body in the same way as the kingdom’s press is answerable to the Ministry of Culture and Information.

A committee of representatives from the ministries of Interior and Culture and Information, the Communications and Information Technology Commission, and the King Abdul Aziz University for Science and Technology will discuss the proposal at its first meeting, Saudi Gazette reported.

The talks, it said, would centre on licensing the electronic press, appointment conditions for editors-in-chief, granting permits to journalists, and invitations to cover news events.

Undersecretary for Internal Media, Abdul Rahman Al-Hazza’, said the authority for electronic press would also have in place a list of infringements and penalties for publication violations.