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‘Harsh penalties’ … Cyber Crime Law effective Jan 12; Law reflects MoI efforts in fighting e-crimes

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 5: Acting Assistant Undersecretary of Legal Affairs in the Interior Ministry Major General Assad Al-Ruwaie has affirmed that as part of the ministry’s efforts to fight all types of crimes and to implement the law on everyone, the Cyber Crime Law was issued to protect the society from electronic crimes which have become prevalent in the country.

In a press statement, Al- Ruwaie stressed the law stipulates harsh penalties on anyone proven to have committed electronic crimes, adding that the law will take effect on Jan 12, 2016. Previously, Director General of Public Relations and Security Media Department Brigadier Adel Al-Hashash said the law reflects the effort rendered by the ministry in fighting e-crimes (cyber crimes) and implementing the law on each person without discrimination or favoritism, among other important steps in combating e-crimes and all its kind.

He reiterated e-crime law is due to take effect this month following its publication in local newspapers on July 7, 2015, and the wide-scale campaign launched in this concern aims to promote awareness among members of the society to ensure that majority of citizens are aware of contents of the law stipulating that anyone who obtains illegal access to computers and information systems or networks shall be jailed up to six months and fined KD 500 to KD 2,000 or one of the above penalties.

It also states that illegal access resulting in the cancellation, deletion, destruction, and change or republication of data or information will attract penalty of two years imprisonment and fine of KD 2,000 to KD 5,000 or one of the two punishments.

In case of illegal access related to acquiring confidential personal/government data or information, the violator will be sentenced to three years in prison and fined KD 3,000 to KD 10,000 or both penalties. Anyone who acquires such data or information with the intention of erasing or destroying or publishing or amending it will face up to 10 years in prison and fined KD 5,000 to KD 20,000 or one of the two penalties, and if anyone forges or damages or destroys an electronic system or website, he or she will face jail term not exceeding three years and fine of KD 3,000 to KD 10,000 or one of the two.

The law also includes crimes of distorting or damaging electronic document related to medical tests or diagnosis or physical therapy.

This crime will be subjected to punishment not exceeding three years in jail and fine of KD 3,000 to KD 10,000 or one of the penalties. Al-Hashash pointed out that crimes concerning cyber intimidation or any kind of blackmail to dissuade or persuade victims will attract jail term not exceeding three years and fine of KD 3,000 to KD 10,000 or one of the two penalties.

If anyone creates a website for a terrorist organization or a terrorist to post information on the making of bombs or explosives, he or she will face up to 10 years in jail and fined KD 20,000 to 50,000. Crimes related to money laundering would be penalized by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and fine ranging between KD 20,000 and KD 50,000 or one of the penalties. Moreover, perpetrators of crimes related to conspiracy to topple the regime would be subjected to a maximum of 10 years in prison, and crimes related to creating websites for or promoting human trafficking will receive a maximum of seven years imprisonment and fine between KD 10,000 and KD 30,000.

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