Bahrain Shura approves cybercrime law
Manama, May 16, 2014
A new cybercrime law that punishes hackers with up to 10 years in prison has been approved by the Shura Council.
In an extraordinary session yesterday, all the articles in the information technology bill, which will also carry a maximum fine of up to BD300,000 ($792,000), was discussed and passed, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
It is the first law of its kind in the Arab world and will be implemented as soon as parliament approves changes made by the council in four articles.
Parliament will have to vote on the law before the end of the legislative term, which will be this month or early next month.
"We wanted something strong that matches developments in criminology and even after the law is approved it will require continuous updates through amendments," said Shura Council foreign affairs, defence and national security committee vice-chairwoman Jameela Salman.
"At the moment, all loopholes have been addressed," she said.
Penalties include a year's imprisonment or BD30,000 fine for those who gain unauthorised access to computer systems.
People who deliberately hack into networks with the purpose of destroying them or damaging information will also face up to three years in prison or a fine of BD50,000, or both.
Those who destroy, delete, change or tamper with data in any computer network will be sentenced up to 10 years in jail.
Embezzlement, theft and blackmail through cyber communication will be punished with up to three years behind bars.
Those who produce pornography or broadcast it using technology and telecommunications will be sentenced up to a year in jail or fined up to BD10,000, or both.
However, if the case is related to child pornography then the offender will face two years in jail or a fine of BD10,000, or both.
The bill will also give the Public Prosecution the power to stop the broadcast of any information on the Internet, hide the information or enter computerised accounts, if necessary, for an investigation. – TradeArabia News Service