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New bill proposes jail time for internet abuse
May 24, 2015, 11:36 am
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In a bid to control hacking and other cybercrimes, the government submitted a bill to the parliament to set a law on fighting Internet crimes.

The law, recently referred by National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim to the parliamentary legislative committee, consists of 22 articles, including severe penalties of up to 10-years imprisonment for individuals who create websites for terrorist groups or individuals, and people who use the internet in money laundering, human trafficking or facilitating prostitution.

According to the bill, those indicted with any of these crimes will be ‘punished by a maximum of three years imprisonment and/or a fine of KD 3,000 to 10,000 for directly and illegally accessing an information system, using any means of information technology in threatening or blackmailing individuals to force them do or stop doing something.’  

The law also states that ‘those who create websites, publish, send or store information and data with the aim of using or distributing them to others in a way that violates public manners; or those who run places for such purposes, forcing males or females to commit vice acts and prostitution, will be punished by three-years imprisonment and/or a KD 10,000 fine.’

In addition, the law states that ‘those who create websites for human trafficking purposes will be punished by 7-years imprisonment and a maximum fine of KD 30,000.’ The proposed law also suggests a ‘maximum of 10-years imprisonment and a maximum fine of KD 50,000 for those who use the Internet for money laundering or transferring illegal funds or for camouflaging or concealing their illegal origins.”

The same penalty was also suggested for “those who build websites for terrorist groups or individuals, publish information about them online or use any IT means even under false names."

In justification of the proposed law, the government said that conventional penal laws do not help in fighting modern electronic crimes that are committed using sophisticated technology. “This law is meant to protect individuals’ liberties, honor and reputation and to prevent violating public and private funds and property as well as help Kuwait support international efforts to fight such crimes,” government sources explained.

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