MIT Technology Review: Online censorship in Saudi Arabia soared after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder

MIT Technology Review: Online censorship in Saudi Arabia soared after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. “The number of websites being censored in Saudi Arabia doubled a couple of weeks after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the country’s consulate in Istanbul, according to an initiative that tracks internet censorship. While the increased censorship is not surprising, the results show how skillful automated tracking has become at sniffing out repression.”

AP News: In online ruse, fake journalists tried to hack Saudi critic

AP News: In online ruse, fake journalists tried to hack Saudi critic. “Hackers impersonating journalists tried to intercept the communications of a prominent Saudi opposition figure in Washington, The Associated Press has found. One attempt involved the fabrication of a fake BBC secretary and an elaborate television interview request; the other involved the impersonation of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to deliver a malicious link.”

CNET: Twitter employee may have spied on users for Saudis, says report

CNET: Twitter employee may have spied on users for Saudis, says report. “Western intelligence officials notified Twitter that an employee had been co-opted by Saudi Arabia several years ago to spy on the accounts of users critical of the government, The New York Times reported on Saturday. Officials alerted Twitter to the alleged Saudi mole in late 2015, prompting the company to investigate, according to the Times report, which cited anonymous sources.”

Reuters: Google latest to withdraw from Saudi conference

Reuters: Google latest to withdraw from Saudi conference. “Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi policies, went missing. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Google said in a statement that Google Cloud Chief Executive Diane Greene would not attend the Future Investment Initiative Summit scheduled to be held in Riyadh starting Oct. 23.”

Business Insider: Google’s parent company Alphabet is exploring a relationship with Saudi Arabia’s oil giant to build a ‘tech hub’ in the Middle East

Business Insider: Google’s parent company Alphabet is exploring a relationship with Saudi Arabia’s oil giant to build a ‘tech hub’ in the Middle East. “Google’s parent company Alphabet is exploring a deal with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco to build data centers in the Middle East, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The report says Alphabet wants to help Aramco build a ‘tech hub’ in the region as competition from other companies like Amazon heats up. The tech hub could reportedly include data centers built as a part of the partnership, though the specifics of which company would construct and operate the cloud servers isn’t clear.”

Newsweek: Saudi Arabia’s Government Might Be Getting Help From Social Media Giants To Shut Down Dissent

Newsweek: Saudi Arabia’s Government Might Be Getting Help From Social Media Giants To Shut Down Dissent. “Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident who was granted political asylum in Canada, wants to know why his viral hashtag disappeared from Twitter. The 27-year-old political science student has more than 270,000 followers on Twitter. But some of his Arabic-language hashtags disappeared as soon as they started going viral, he said. Especially the ones criticizing Saudi Arabia and its crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman.”

New York Times: Hundreds of Mysterious Stone ‘Gates’ Found in Saudi Arabia’s Desert

New York Times: Hundreds of Mysterious Stone ‘Gates’ Found in Saudi Arabia’s Desert. “Google Earth has unlocked the gates to ancient mysteries around the world. For years, amateur and professional archaeologists have used the search engine’s satellite imagery to discover mysterious earthworks in Kazakhstan, Roman ruins, a forgotten fortress in Afghanistan and more. In the past decade, Google Earth also has helped identify thousands of burial sites and other ‘works of the old men,’ as they’re called, scattered across Saudi Arabia. Now, archaeologists have uncovered nearly 400 previously undocumented stone structures they call “gates” in the Arabian desert that they believe may have been built by nomadic tribes thousands of years ago.”

Gulf News: Saudi Arabia arrests 22 for social media videos

Gulf News: Saudi Arabia arrests 22 for social media videos. “Saudi Arabia has arrested 22 people, including a Qatari national, for ‘inciting public feelings’ on social media, authorities said Wednesday, following a crackdown on dissent. Those detained had posted video clips online, the official Saudi Press Agency said citing a security source, adding that authorities were investigating their motives and connections.”

TechCrunch: Snap blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia to “comply with local laws”

TechCrunch: Snap blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia to “comply with local laws”. “Snap has bowed to pressure from the government of Saudi Arabia to censor a news channel operated by the Qatar-based news broadcaster, Al Jazeera, from the Snapchat Discover section of its app. The development was reported earlier by the WSJ. Al Jazeera launched a Snap Discover channel in English in December 2015 — but only launched its Arabia news channel in May this year.”

New Site Provides Information on Courts in Saudi Arabia

The government of Saudi Arabia has launched a new site which provides information on Saudi courts. “The new portal is accessible via the [Minister of Justice] website and allows people to follow-up and evaluate the number of received cases and how many of them are finalized each day. People have access to employee workloads, the number of meetings and average periods for the completion of cases.”