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Kuwait takes down terror blogs

Restricts access to websites and blogs that facilitate terrorism in latest move to clean up the internet

Kuwait takes down terror blogs
Kuwait's Ministry of Communications has stepped up efforts to clean up the internet and "preserve Islamic values."

Kuwait has reportedly blocked a number of websites and blogs that are linked to extremist organisations and terrorism, according to comments made by an official at the Ministry of Communications.

"The ministry has blocked blogs ... used by some to communicate with terror cells and extremist groups," communications ministry undersecretary Abdulmohsen Al Mazeedi told Kuwait's An-Nahar newspaper a few days ago. Mazeedi said the ministry "aims to preserve Islamic values."

Al Mazeedi also added that sites related to pornography and those deemed offensive to Islam and the country's ruler were also being blocked in the country.

Blogger and journalist Bashar al-Sayegh was famously detained for two days in 2007 after comments deemed offensive to the Gulf state's ruler were posted on his website. The Kuwaiti citizen who posted the comments was subsequently jailed for a two-year term.

A number of MPs have described the ministry's monitoring of blogs as a breach of the constitution and are now keen on questioning communications minister Mohammed al-Baseeri in parliament. But the ministry claims it has to obtain permission from public prosecution before restricting access to any site.

The Initiative For an Open Arab Internet, an initiative by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information that advocates free use of the Internet, reports that Kuwait restricts access to four main categories of websites - political, anti-Islamic, extremist-Islamic and those with pornographic content.

"We do our best [to censor the internet] as it is impossible to prevent everyone from accessing websites with destructive content ... however, if we succeeded to limit access to 90% of them that will be great!" commented Ministry of Communications undersecretary Hamed Khajeh on the issue of censorship in the country, writes the Open Arab Internet.

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