UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development: Saudi Arabia
Mission of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development:
|The General Commission for Audiovisual Media announced that it will monitor online and YouTube content to ensure that Saudi contributors adhere to government guidelines. In October the government used a 2007 anti-cybercrime law to charge at least seven Saudis in connection with their use of Twitter to allegedly criticize the authorities and to call for women to be allowed to drive.|
Source: Committee to Protect Journalists , April 2015
"Since 2006, the Commission has been mandated by ECOSOC to serve as the focal point in the system-wide follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the information Society (WSIS) and advise the Council... The Commission acts as a forum for: the examination of science and technology questions and their implications for development; the advancement of understanding on science and technology policies, particularly in respect of developing countries and; the formulation of recommendations and guidelines on science and technology matters within the United Nations system." (Commission on Science and Technology for Development website
, "Mandate and Institutional Background") Saudi Arabia's Term of office: 2017-2020 Saudi Arabia's Record on technology and development:
"The most important human rights problems reported included ... pervasive restrictions on universal rights such as freedom of expression, including on the internet... There were reports from human rights activists of governmental monitoring or blocking mobile telephone or internet usage before planned demonstrations... The governmental Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filtered and blocked access to websites it deemed offensive, including pages calling for political, social, or economic reforms or human rights... The government, however, could not rely on self-censoring in social media and the internet. Accordingly, to control information it monitored and blocked certain internet sites. On a number of occasions, government officials and senior clerics publicly warned against inaccurate reports on the internet and reminded the public that criticism of the government and its officials should be done through available private channels. The government charged those using the internet to express dissent with subversion, blasphemy, and apostasy... There were government restrictions on access to the internet and credible reports the government monitored e-mails and internet chat rooms. Activists complained of monitoring or attempted monitoring of their communications on web-based communications applications... Security authorities actively monitored internet activity."
(U.S. State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2014, Saudi Arabia)