Saudi Arabia religious police takes issue with Twitter

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While many people in Saudi Arabia may be using Twitter, it doesn’t mean some Saudi officials are happy with that.

Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Azziz al-Sheikh told BBC News that Muslims who use Twitter or any other type of social media have “lost this world and this afterlife.”

While the use of social media is increasing, Saudi Arabia’s religious police force disapprove of the sites.

Saudi government is worried social media could help the political opposition in the country organize and spread, as it has in other Middle Eastern countries.

“The Kindom is particularly concerned with how Twitter has been used to keep people informed of human rights activists who have been tried for the crime of free speech,” writes Jonathan Truly, professor of law at the George Washington University Law School. “Leaders on the web have been detained while others have been charted with apostasy and other crimes for statements made on these sites.”

A few years ago, Saudi Arabia threatened to ban BlackBerry devices unless the company allowed the government to read users’ messages. According to reports, the company reportedly decided to agree to those demands.

In a recent blog post, software engineer Moxie Marlinspike said that Saudi Arabia wants the ability to spy on other messaging services like Viber and WhatsApp as well.


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