London: Saudi Arabian authorities have called for the formation of a new international body to censor offensive content on the internet, in the wake of the outrage across the Middle East over the anti-Islam movie posted on YouTube.
In a submission to forthcoming international talks on internet governance, the Gulf state said “there is a crying need for international collaboration to address ‘freedom of expression’ which clearly disregards public order”.
The move came after the 14-minute film ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ depicting Prophet Mohammad as a fool and sexual deviant, led to protests across the globe and was also thought be the reason behind the death of three American diplomats in Libya.
According to the Telegraph, the Saudi government has now told the World Telecommunications Policy Forum, a UN body, that the incident was “an obvious example” of the need for greater international cooperation to restrict content online.
“Any reasonable person would know that this film would foment violence and, indeed, many innocent persons have died and been injured with this film as a root cause,” the Saudi submission said.
The Saudi government called for greater international cooperation to censor such material at the source, comparing it to outlawed content such as images of child abuse and malicious software.
“This behaviour, along with other malicious and criminal activities such as child pornography, identity theft, spam, denial of service attacks, and malware aimed at destroying or crippling businesses, inter alia, must be addressed by states in a collaborative and cooperative environment and strongly underscores the need for enhanced cooperation,” it said.