Kuwait to procure social media monitoring programme

The finance ministry wants to track comments that could damage the country’s “financial status”



Kuwait’s government is planning to procure software to monitor social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, according to reports.

The finance ministry plans to contract a specialised company for the surveillance programme, sources told Kuwait Times.

A sum of KD75,000 ($248,673) has been allocated for the project.

The new programme is scheduled to be activated in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, which will end next March, according to the publication.

The sources said the ministry aims to use the progamme to follow up and directly respond to posts on social media “especially rumours that might affect Kuwait’s financial status”.

The Gulf country has already passed laws regulating social media activity in the wake of cases of alleged blasphemy and sectarianism that have prompted protests

A number of individuals have been detained in the country in recent years for comments made on social media.

Read: Four Kuwaitis Detained Over Twitter Comments

In February, the country’s criminal court sentenced blogger Dr Abdullah Al-Saleh to five years in prison with labour on charges of slandering the UAE.

Read: Kuwait blogger given 5-year prison sentence for insulting UAE

Political activist Tariq al-Mutairi was also arrested in 2015 on suspicion of insulting Saudi Arabia on Twitter.

Read: Kuwait Detains Political Activist Over Tweets Against Saudi Arabia