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Society-protecting Cybercrime Law comes into effect – ‘Beware of some websites’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 11: The Public Relations and Security Media Department of Ministry of Interior declared in a press release that the Cybercrime Law will come into effect on Tuesday, Jan 12 with the aim of protecting the society from widespread online violations and cyber crimes.

It explained that the law covers several malpractices which are considered as violations against the country’s social and economic security and general discipline as well as the privacy guaranteed by the law.

For example, the law criminalizes illegal hacking activities for obtaining confidential data belonging to the government. For this crime, the penalty specified by the law is imprisonment for maximum three years and/or fine ranging between KD 3,000 and KD 5,000. If such hacking result in deletion, damage, spread or modification of the confidential data, the penalty will be tougher with imprisonment for ten years and/or fine ranging between KD 5,000 and KD 20,000.

The law also criminalizes threatening or blackmailing an individual in order to persuade the latter to take or refrain from taking a particular action. Illegal possession of important documents or signing of documents in an illegal manner has also been considered as a crime along with changing or deleting of any medical document related to medical examinations, diagnosis or treatments.

Those who provoke individuals to commit prostitution or other such immoral activities or even assist them in doing so will face maximum of two-year imprisonment and/or fine ranging between KD 2,000 and KD 5,000.

The Public Relations and Security Media Department urged Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates to be cautious when dealing with suspicious websites. It affirmed that those who set up websites for terrorists or terrorist organization, spread information via Internet and other electronic means to facilitate communication with any of the leaders or members of terrorist organizations, promote terrorist and extremist ideologies or spread information about manufacturing explosive devices will face imprisonment for maximum of ten years and/or fine ranging between KD 20,000 and KD 50,000. It warned against establishing a website or spreading information with the aim of human trafficking, and facilitating human trafficking or drug trade.

Those caught committing this crime will face maximum of seven-year imprisonment and/or fine ranging KD 10,000 and KD 30,000. The Public Relations and Security Media Department revealed that those who involve in money laundering, transport suspicious money and hide its source or earn money illegally through the Internet will face penalty of maximum ten-year imprisonment and/or fine ranging between KD 20,000 and KD 50,000. In conclusion, the department urged Internet users to refrain from committing such violations or dealing with them in order to avoid being penalized by the law. It revealed that it has launched an awareness campaign to inform the public about the importance of this law through all media means including social media and text messages to mobile phones.

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