Saudi regulator rejects stats on porn habits

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) and a technology expert doubted the accuracy of published figures on numbers of Saudis visiting porn websites. (File photo: Shutterstock)

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) and a technology expert expressed doubts about the accuracy of statistics and figures being published on the number of Saudis visiting porn websites.

The CITC made this observation in response to repeated studies indicating that Saudis “are the ones who visit these sites most”. The CITC denied the existence of statistics on Saudi nationals visiting porn websites.

In a statement, the Director of Public Relations and Information at the CITC Sultan Al-Malik said, “The CITC does not possess statistics through which it can know the percentage of Saudis entering pornographic websites. We cannot judge the credibility of statistics published by external authorities.”

“The commission does not have an answer about the various programs that open blocked websites,” he told Al-Hayat newspaper.

Information technology specialist Haitham Abu Aisha too cast doubts on the credibility of international statistics. He said these cannot be confirmed or relied upon.

He said: “To be credible, these statistics should be issued by a local authority.”

He called on concerned authorities to block all porn sites. Whoever wants to enter these websites from Saudi Arabia will have to resort to an external “IP”. This means that there is no proof of entering such websites from any country. This is what these statistics allege.

Abu Aisha said: “The programs that are installed on smart devices and can bypass restrictions to protect families and children from entering websites are not quite secure.”

He considered this as evidence indicating families’ attempt to watch the virtual world and stay in control failed and attempts by many to override censorship by numerous means.”

Meanwhile, a social worker said the political turmoil in Arab countries has contributed to a big segment of disturbed people visiting these sites.

Zana Al-Ahmari commented on these statistics by saying: “We should not be preoccupied by the figures issued and the ranking of countries. What is important is to know the social, economic and political reasons that push people to view such websites.”

She added: “It is usually people having psychological and emotional problems or those who do not have ambitions, hope or job security, apart from teenagers, who are the ones who resort to exploring this world.”

Al-Ahmari said: “Political turmoil in Arab countries has contributed to many distraught people entering such websites seeking comfort.”

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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