Welcome to the Saudi Arabia focus edition of Law Update.
One of the key markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that continues to lead from the front is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). As the largest country in the Middle East and the 18th largest economy in the world, the progress KSA continues to make is underpinned by its Vision 2030 that envisions developing the country as an investment powerhouse and hub that ultimately connects Asia, Europe, and Africa. Given Saudi Arabia’s significance to the regional economy, our team of experts have prepared a range of pertinent articles that provide insights into new laws, regulations, and the legal landscape in the Kingdom.
This edition will provide you with an up-to-date guide on matters such as; the framework issued by the Saudi Central Bank on IT governance, the anti-corruption landscape under Vision 2030; we also provide practical tips for dispute avoidance. This is only a snapshot; there are many more articles within the KSA focus section for you to read, which we hope you will find valuable and enjoyable.Read the edition
This means Qatar retains its rank as second place among 132 developing countries in terms of online connectivity. We are seeing a spike in legitimate digital content services and solutions, not only from the incumbent companies, but also from innovative start-ups, both working through the internet. However with this increase in internet use comes increased cybercrime.
On 16 September 2014 the Qatari government promulgated a cybercrime prevention law (No.14 of 2014) in an effort to increase the tools for combating online and cyber crimes. The new law imposes many sanctions and several penalties for offences committed through the Internet, IT networks, computers and other related crimes. The legislation is aimed at safeguarding the country’s technological infrastructure and strengthening cyber security within Qatar. The law took immediate effect but it will be posted in the Official Gazette to comply with formalities.
During the drafting of the legislation there was considerable criticism surrounded it as many viewed some parts of the legislation as threatening freedom of speech and access to media.
The law contains the following provisions, amongst others:
As reported in a study conducted by the 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey by Price Waterhouse Cooper, cybercrimes are the second most common form of economic crime reported in the Middle East. As such businesses operating in the region are at high risk. Despite the concerns raised about the new Cybercrimes law when it was in the drafting stages, it is undeniable that Qatar along with the UAE has taken the lead in addressing the issues related to cybercrime and has implemented penalties and jail terms for those who contravene to the law.