News websites in Saudi Arabia have problems. But the answer to their problems is not regulation by the government, and the Ministry of Culture and Information’s idea to codify an internet law is dumb. I don’t see why anyone thinking of starting a website would want to ask for a license, or wait for the ministry to approve their editors. I guess the fact that the owners of these news websites have agreed to be under the supervision of the ministry says something about their understanding of press freedom and the so-called “professional integrity.” At a time when people go to the internet to seek more freedom and free themselves of old red lines and censorship, news websites in my country are running backwards. What’s next? Are they going to ask bloggers to register their blogs with the ministry?
Three words: not gonna happen.