Saudi Arabia

Population

27,752,316

Population 0‑14

27.1%

Internet Users

65.9%

Facebook Users

12,000,000

Mobile Subscribers

57,200,000
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2004 - The Ministry of Education launched a Ten-Year plan (2004 - 2014), detailing a wide range of goals relating to education at all stages, including the intention to further integrate ICT into the curriculum and to increase the number of teachers of both sexes specializing in Computer Science being accepted to teacher training colleges by 20%.

2005 - To promote computer literacy among middle class, the Communications & Information Technology Commission (CITC) launched Saudi Home Computing Initiative (SHCI), which enabled one million Saudi families to obtain PCs through an easy process and affordable installment plan spread over five years. The main objectives of the initiative is to increase computer and Internet penetration, as well as contribute in educating the public in the use of ICT equipment and the Internet.

2006 - Through Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the U.S. Department of State funded the Women in Technology Saudi Arabia (WIT Saudi Arabia) program, which is ran by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with Microsoft. The program endeavors to empower women by providing curricula and training opportunities in IT and professional development.

2007 - The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology adopted National ICT Plan (NICTP) The plan included a long-term vision for ICT in the Kingdom over the next 20 years, which comprises a future outlook and seven objectives, including provide ICT at all levels of education and training, as well as efforts to bridge the digital divide by enabling all sections of society to deal with ICT easily and efficiently. The objectives for the education sector include the employment of ICT in supporting education and training and the adoption of e-learning and training of teachers and students in the use of ICT in the classroom. The development of the necessary infrastructure is another objective, which includes the dissemination of ICT systems in all educational institutions.

Within the framework of the plan the ‘Dissemination of Digital Culture and Knowledge Lectures’ initiative was launched with aim to bridge the digital divide and promote the importance of ICT in the modern society, with a focus on youth. Students from primary, preparatory and secondary schools as well as university students and the general public can attend classes that teach dealing with all aspects of modern technologies, including computer crimes, e-services and the benefits and dangers of electronic communication. By summer 2011, over 50,000 attendees were able to benefit from one of the 140 lectures held across thirteen provinces in Saudi Arabia.

2011 - As part of the NICTP, the Kingdom’s ‘E-Caravan Initiative’ was launched jointly by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology and the Minister of Economy and Planning. Consisting of a fleet of five buses equipped with computers and Internet connection, the initiative endeavors to increase digital literacy through focusing on young people in rural areas and the low-income general population by providing free basic training on the use of ICT. The training is conducted through the mobile classrooms shuttling between villages within planned routes specified by the Ministry and staying for one week in each location, providing ten hours of lessons. In the first two years over 13,000 school students and adults have received training.

2012 - Tatweer Company for Educational Services was established to continue implementing the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Public Education Development Project (Tatweer), launched in 2007 to achieve comprehensive educational development across all public schools in the Kingdom. One of the main aims is to enhance education at all levels by integrating technology into the curriculum and equip classrooms with modern digital technologies. Teachers received professional educational development opportunities, which include training in computer applications to increase digital literacy.

2014 - Saudi Arabia approved a five-year plan that focuses on development of the Saudi Arabia’s education sector. The plan includes building 1,500 nurseries, providing training for about 25,000 teachers, and establishing educational centres and other related projects.

AGGUND (Arab Gulf Development Program)

The program works mainly in the field of development and growth at the international level through an effective partnership with the United Nations Organization, with regional and national development organizations, with public institutions, with the private sector, as well as with organizations of the civil society. AGFUND has supported and targeted youth projects to improve employability of disadvantaged youth, aged 16-29, through information technology skills.

Arab Open University (AOU)

A non-profit organization that commenced operation in 2002. It adopts the open education technique that combines traditional and distance education, by using technology means to streamline information to the student.

Communications & Information Technology Commission (CITC)

The commission provides universally available, high quality and affordable communications and information technology services to the Kingdom. It aims to achieve that through among other initiatives, the provision of the regulatory framework in the country.

Computer Emergency Response Team Saudi Arabia

The team works to increase the public’s awareness and knowledge of computer security threats, and aims to detect, prevent and respond to any identified threats. They also coordinate national efforts towards promoting IT security best practices and creating trust among the online community.

ICDL Arabia

The organization is responsible for the delivery of the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) program in the GCC States, Egypt and Iraq. The ICDL program, the world’s largest digital literacy program, is administered by the ECDL Foundation, a not-for-profit body, charged with promoting the program globally through its regional and national awarding bodies.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Arab States

The specialized agency for ICT in the United Nations.

INTERPOL

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.

King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST)

The department responsible for all filtering processes of the sites that contain political opposition groups, human rights issues, and religious content deemed offensive to Muslims, including pornographic and homosexual sites.

MENA Child Protection Initiative

The initiative was established in 2002 and aims to upgrade and improve the capacities of local authorities and municipalities to improve the wellbeing of children, and to enhance knowledge of effective policies and programs that address critical issues.

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)

The ministry supervises the activities in ICT sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ensures the comprehensiveness of the sector and the spread of its vital services that contribute to the socio-economic development and prosperity of the homeland and citizens, sets up general policies and draws development plans and programs.

National Center for e-Learning and Distance Learning

The center has emerged, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Higher Education, as a leader, supervisor, and supporter of e-Learning at the higher education level, it supports the university’s’ role in the building of a 21st century Saudi society and a new generation of Saudi learners.

National Family Safety Program (NFSP)

The organization promotes family’s safety, security and unity. It also aspires to be a center of excellence in the affairs of domestic abuse by providing preventive and support programs, as well as raising the level of awareness and building professional partnerships with specialists, public and private authorities and international organizations to provide a safe family environment in the Kingdom Saudi Arabia.

Tatweer Company for Educational Services

A Saudi company - owned by state in full - was established to work with the Ministry of Education to develop the educational system in Saudi Arabia in a holistic manner, and to provide students with the knowledge and skills in order to reach the ultimate success in the global knowledge-based economic domain.

Women in Technology (WIT) for the Middle East and North Africa

Funded by the United States State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, WIT was implemented in collaboration with local partners in nine countries/regions: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen. The aims of WIT are to empower women and increase their participation in the workforce by providing partner organizations with curricula, training, professional development, and Information Technology.

Analysis of the relationship between Saudi Arabia parents’ education and economic levels and parental control of internet usage (2015)

Ahmed Almogbel, Mohamed Begg, Sara Wilford

This paper examined the relationship between parents’ educational level in Saudi families and the level of their control of their children’s internet usage. It also broadly identifies the impact of Saudi families’ economic level on their control of internet use by their children.

Cyber Safety Report: Arabia (2015)

ICDL Arabia

Research into the online behaviour of Arab youth and the risks they face

Arab Social Media Report (2015)

Arab Social Media Influencers Summit

The Arab social media report provides an overview on the social media reality in the Arab world through the monitoring of all social media trends in the Arab world and provides a detailed view on using social media channels in the different Arab countries.

Success factors for ICT implementation in Saudi secondary schools: From the perspective of ICT directors, head teachers, teachers and students (2015)

Sultan Albugami, Vian Ahmed

This paper discusses the role of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in education in Saudi Arabia and its massive investment.

E-learning in Saudi Arabia: Past, Present and Future (2014)

Ali Mohammad Al-Asmari, M Shamsur Rabb Khan

This article evaluats the growth of e-learning in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), analyzes the potential need and the overall impacts of e-learning on various stakeholders, as well as the current e-learning developments as well as future prospect.

Children’s Use of Mobile Phones - An International Comparison 2013 (2014)

GSMA

Mobile Society Research Institute and the GSMA jointly conducted an international research study examining the ways in which children communicate through mobile phones

The Influence of Social Media on Youth (2014)

ICDL Arabia

A servey conducted by IDCL Arabia, which involved collecting responses to vital questions from 883 ICDL Summer Camp male and female participants aged 14-18, analyzing their answers to get a sense of their general attitude and knowledge about social media and cyber safety.

Children's Use of Mobile Phones - An International Comparison (2014)

GSMA, NTTDoCoMo

This reports on the findings of a survey of 3,560 children and their parents in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The report is the fifth in the series.

The Barriers to the Use of ICT in Teaching in Saudi Arabia: A Review of Literature (2014)

Ensaf Al Mulhim

The paper reports some of the reasons behind the low use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by teachers.

Media Use in the Middle East (2013)

E. Dennis, J. Martin, R. Wood

This report provides a view of how people in the Middle East use media and how they feel about their effect on their lives and societies.

A Strategy to Improve The Usage of ICT in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Primary School (2013)

Gafar Almalki, Neville Williams

This paper proposes several strategies to trounce the challenges for ICT integration in primary school applicable in the case of the KSA. These strategies are executable at school and national scale.

Safety and Security on the Internet Challenges and Advances in Member States (2011)

World Health Organization

Evaluation of public health threat presented by the Internet in every Member States.

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect in Saudi Arabia: Are We Ready? (2011)

Maha Almuneefa, Majid Al-Eissaa

The article discusses Saudi Arabia's readiness to prevent child abuse and neglect (CAN) and the challenges that will be faced by the professionals in implementing evidence-based CAN prevention programs.

Computer and Internet Usage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2007 - 2009 (2010)

Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) Saudi Arabia

The report highlights key findings on internet usage and penetration in Saudi Arabia. The summary looks into the changes on each important stakeholder segment within the Kingdom.

2009 - Access to Online Information and Knowledge (2009)

Rafid Fatani

The report discusses Saudi Government implementation of ICT into its society to decrease digital divide.

This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

The legal age in Saudi Arabia is 15, and has no legal age of consent, because marriage is legally required before sexual inercourse is permited. Additionally, the country does not have age limit to marriage, there is effectively no age of consent between married individuals.

Since 2008, the Saudi Government made [many attempts](http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/01/attempt-to-stop-child-marriage-in-saudi-arabia-fails/( to raise the legal age in Saudi Arabia to 18 and set minimum age for girls to marry, but as of this year no law has gone to affect regarding this subject.

  • Article 3, Anti-Cyber Crime Law. This Article states, among other things, that anyone who uses a computer or computer network to defame another person is liable to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to 1,000 riyals.
  • Article 6, Anti-Cyber Crime Law. Imposes a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 3,000,000 riyals for anyone who produces, prepares, transmits or stores material impinging on public order, public morals or privacy through a computer or information network. The same penalty applies to anyone who prepares, publishes or promotes pornographic material in the same way, or anyone who constructs or advertises a website which promotes or facilitates human trafficking.
  • Article 8, Anti-Cyber Crime Law. States, among other things, that anyone who commits an offense under this law which is coupled with the luring or exploitation of minors or the like will be subject to at least half the maximum penalty imposed for the offense.
  • Article 9, Anti-Cyber Crime Law. This Article constitutes that anyone who assists, incites or collaborates with others to commit an offense under this law will be subject to the same penalty prescribed for the offense if the crime is in fact committed; if the crime is not committed half of the maximum penalty will apply.
  • Article 10, Anti-Cyber Crime Law. States that any attempt to commit an offense under this law is punishable by up to half the maximum penalty imposed for the original offense.

Actions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Saudi Arabia has acceded, with no declarations or reservations to articles 16, 17(e) and 34 (c), to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to articles 2 and 3, to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

2010 - Saudi Arabia established Child Helpline, which is managed by the National Family Safety Program, the (116-111) number provides an easy access and confidential outreach service for children around the country. The aim of the Child Helpline is to provide counseling services for children or their caregivers, follow-up and provide children care and protection services across all related agencies.

The Computer Emergency Response Team of Saudi Arabia (CERT.SA) provides information on child online protection.