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Al-Sanei crafts bill to combat cyber crime

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 3: MP Yakoub Al-Sanei has presented a draft bill on combating cyber crime to punish anybody who commits illegal acts online, such as unauthorized access to websites or information systems. The bill stipulates that anyone proven to be involved in cyber crimes will be imprisoned for not more than one year, fined not less than KD 1,000 or one of these penalties.


If the act leads to cancellation, removal, destruction, disclosure, change, unauthorized copying or reprinting of data; the punishment shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years, fine of not less than KD 3,000 or one of these penalties.


If the data is personal, confidential government information or concerning financial, commercial and economic institutions of the State; the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, fine of not less than KD 5,000 or one of these penalties.


If anyone deliberately hinders or unlawfully disrupts access to the Internet, hardware, software or online sources of data or information, the punishment will be imprisonment for not more than three years and fine of not less than KD 3,000.


If access to the Internet or usage of information technology device leads to disruption of work due to destruction, removal or modification of programs, data or information; the punishment shall be imprisonment for not more than five years, fine of not less than KD 5,000 or one of these penalties. If the act causes severe damage, the punishment shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven years, fine of not less than KD 7,000 or one of these penalties.


Deliberate or unlawful eavesdropping, interception or acquisition of a secret number, code, password or any other way of accessing another person’s account on the Internet or an information technology device shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, fine of not less than KD 3,000 or one of these penalties. The punishment shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, fine of not less than KD 5,000 or one of these penalties if the information was obtained, picked up or intercepted without permission from the owner.


Forging electronic documents from the government and public institutions shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven years and fine not exceeding KD 5,000. For a fraudulent act, except that of electronic documents, which harms others, the punishment is imprisonment for not more than three years, fine of not less than KD 3,000 or one of these penalties. The same penalties will be imposed on those proven to be involved in forgery due to a certain situation or those who use electronic document even if he knows it was forged by another person.


The bill prohibits usage of Internet or any information technology device to publish statements that might incite the public to overthrow the regime and change the system by force or illegally; calling for the use of force to change the social and economic systems in the country or embrace doctrines or principles aimed at destroying the basic systems in Kuwait through illegal means; offending God, angels, Holy Quran, companions and wives of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) or Ahlil-Bait (the household of the Prophet) — Peace be Upon Them; and abusing sanctuaries, Islamic rituals, as well as the sanctuaries and rituals of other divine religions that are protected as per the provisions of the Islamic Sharia.


The bill forbids encouraging others to commit sins, offending the entity of His Highness the Amir, attributing any statement to the Amir without permission from the Amiri Diwan, contempt of the Constitution or encouraging others to violate its provisions, insulting members of the judiciary or the public prosecutor, violating the integrity of the judiciary or its neutrality, and disclosure of confidential official communication, conventions and treaties concluded by the government before publication in the official gazette without permission from the concerned ministry.


The bill prohibits publication of anything that may affect value of the national currency, destabilize the economy, and reveal the bankruptcy of traders, trading companies, banks or money changers without permission from the concerned court.


It also forbids disclosure of information related to formal meetings, documents, decrees, papers or publications that the Constitution or the law regards as confidential; harming Kuwait’s relations with other Arab or friendly countries through media campaigns; abuse of a public employee or anyone assigned to public service by falsely accusing him of making statements or engaging in illegal activities; abusing dignity of persons, their lives or religious beliefs; and inciting others to hate or condemn a certain group or class in the society.


Meanwhile, the Interior and Defense Affairs Committee in the Parliament has put the Mandatory Military Service (conscription) Bill on top of its agenda. The proposal will be referred to Parliament before the next legislative term.
The committee received the bill from the government. It consists of five sections with 89 articles and the committee will invite representatives of the government to its meeting this month to discuss the proposal, which is expected to be approved before this year ends.
 


By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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