Kuwaiti ministry of Information started the implementation of law No. 8/2016 to regulate electronic media, which was approved and published in the Official Gazette Sunday.
The new law is to regulate all web-based publications including electronic news services, bulletins, websites of newspapers and televisions and the likes. Under the legislation, all these services must obtain a license from the government before they can operate.
The first article in the Electronic Media tackled the activity that includes publishing or broadcasting items and forms of a media service of electronic content that is produced, developed, upgraded, dealt with, broadcast, published or reached through the Internet or any other communications network.
The electronic media is considered one of the components of the information system in the country, and the freedom of its use is guaranteed for all according to the rules of this law, and there is no prior censorship on what is circulated of content via electronic sites and facilities.
A list of licensed websites and electronic media facilities is published at the ministry's website, providing details for the licensee, the responsible manager, employees, and purpose of the website.
The executive regulations of this law shall control polls carried out by licensed websites and electronic media facilities. Meanwhile, The state cares for electronic information sites and facilities that are under this law, and those working in them, and provides the necessary facilities to go along with the continued technological development of electronic media according to the organization of the executive rules of this law.
With consideration of rules of any other law, anyone who wants to establish or operate any sites or electronic information facilities mentioned in the previous article must obtain a license from the ministry, and the validity of the license is 10 renewable years at the request of the licensee and the ministry's approval.
The license for any of the activities that are under the rules of the law must practice the activity within six months from receiving the license, and the ministry can extend this period by a maximum of an additional six months at the request of the licensee.
Any license rental will be null and void, and cannot be sold or waived without prior approval from the ministry, and the buyer or the person who receives the waiver must meet the conditions mentioned in this law to issue the license. The heirs of the licensee can ask for transfer of the license to them within one year from the date of death or to another person if the conditions are met.
Kuwaiti Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al-Sabah asserted that Kuwait was among the first countries that have legislated a comprehensive electronic media law.
In a press statement during a tour to the electronic publishing department at the ministry, he said that the law will regulate electronic publishing, websites, blogs and social media in Kuwait He called on all electronic media outlets to abide by law 8/2016 as to contribute to the growth of the media sector.
Moreover, the ministry called on all electronic media outlets to abide by law 8/2016, as contributors to the growth of the media sector. The ministry also underscored how helpful these media outlets can be to staving off extreme ideologies, while espousing various virtues for the betterment of the nation.
The law works to promote freedom of expression while ensuring unhindered access to information.
It also aims to eliminate all impediments to the spread of information on electronic media outlets in a way that would conserve national values and interests.