Dubai: Saudi Arabia, which has the second largest number of bloggers in the Arab World, has made license mandatory for starting any e-publishing site, including blogs and online newspapers.
According to the new conditions by country`s Culture and Information Ministry, anyone who wants to open a blog, an online newspaper, or any similar forms of e-publishing must be of Saudi nationality, over 20 years in age, and must have a high school or higher qualification.
The applicant must be with a good record of appropriate behaviour and should have a license from
the Ministry, Al Arabiya said. All license holders will now have to display their license information on their websites.
Saudi Arabia has the second largest blogger population in the Arab World, and has witnessed an increase by 240 percent in recent times.
The spokesman of the Ministry, Abd al-Rahman Huza, said the new change has been made to bridge communication between the ministry and individuals using various forms of the e-publishing sites.
He said it is for organisational supervision and not to supervise or censor.
News websites have supported the decision. Fahad al-Harithi, editor-chief from al-Wi`am newspaper said he was happy for the new regulation to take place as it will protect the newspapers` intellectual rights.