Virtually Islamic Blog

Gary R. Bunt

Saudi Internet

Israeli Tech Allegations

The Wire, Israeli Tech Companies Target Rights Activists With Tailor-Made Cyber Threats
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VPN Guidance

TechGenYZ, 10 Countries where a VPN is a must have
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Uber KSA Gender Preferences

The National, Female Uber drivers in Saudi Arabia can now choose their passengers' gender
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Selfie Danger

Stepfeed, Saudi man found dead in Uganda river after he slipped while taking selfie
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Saudi Trial

Reuters, Saudi women activists back in court as West watches Discover More…


CyberOrient Discover More…

'State of Social Media: Middle East 2018'

al-Bawaba, 5 Takeaways on Social Media in the Middle East in 2018 According to Oregon’s School of Journalism

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Snapchat filters interpreted

stepfeed, Snapchat filters are apparently 'haram in Islam' according to this Saudi cleric
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KSA 'Ghost Accounts'

al Bawaba, The Strange Case of Twitter's Verified Saudi Arabian 'Ghost Accounts'

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The New Arab, 'Want to track and detain your wife or sister? There's a Saudi app for that' Discover More…

KSA UAE Digital Currency

CoinDesk, Saudi Arabia, UAE Aim to Cut Payments Costs With Common Digital Currency
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KSA Documentary

BBC iPlayer, The Real Saudi Arabia: Why I Had to Leave Discover More…

'Patriot Act' banned

New York Times, Netflix Blocks Show in Saudi Arabia Critical of Saudi Prince (click through here to view the episode)
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'Smart Mosques'

Saudi Gazette, ‘Smart Mosques’ to monitor mosques all over Kingdom

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KSA Twitter

KSA twitter rumours on ruling family. Discover More…

Twitter pulls down Saudi bots

Twitter pulls down Saudi bot network Discover More…

KSA tech investments under scrutiny

Opinion piece: Anand Giridharadas, NYT, Silicon Valley’s Saudi Arabia Problem, 12 Oct 2018 "As Saudi Arabia establishes its new role as one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors, the risk grows that its investments will purchase silence. Companies that pride themselves on openness and freedom may find themselves unable to speak ill of one of their largest investors." Discover More…

Man arrested after breakfast with woman in Saudi Arabia

BBC News, Man arrested after breakfast with woman in Saudi Arabia, 10 Sep 2018 "In the 30-second video, the man and woman briefly joke about eating their breakfast together, with nobody else invited."

Contrasting views were expressed on social media from Egypt and Saudi Arabia in relation to this incident.

Hajj Representation

It's been interesting to review the output of CIC Saudi Arabia on Twitter during Hajj 2018, presenting human stories within the hajj.  Some examples are below (check my @garybunt Twitter feed for more):

The following video isn't on theYouTube channel yet, but here's a Twitter link: in contemporary times, the long distance journey to hajj on foot becomes all the more remarkable #hajj CIC Saudi Arabia, [@CICSaudi], "Hajj is over but for Othman AlShahin the journey is not over yet. The man who walked 450km to Hajj (the equivalent distance of #Paris to #Geneva) is now on his way home by foot. "

Saudi Arabia Seeks Death Penalty Against Prominent Cleric, Saudi Arabia Seeks Death Penalty Against Prominent Cleric, 4 September 2018 "Salman Al-Odah was detained in September 2017. Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said at the time that the roundup of a diverse group of clerics, businessmen and intellectuals had targeted people who were “pushing an extremist agenda” with the help of foreign funding." Analysis/commentary.
I discuss Al-Odah in 'Hashtag Islam'.

Saudi and Amazon Deploy Twitter bots

albawaba, Manufacturing Consent: Saudi and Amazon Deploy Twitter Bots to Insist They Are Virtuous, 26 August 2018
opinion/analysis (with a nod to Chomsky): "The contemporary media landscape is experiencing a shift: as news is increasingly shared through and understood by social media, powerful companies and countries are exploiting loopholes to create hordes of accounts tweeting along regime and corporate lines. In so doing, manufacture an image of consent and create an air of doubt whenever a damaging report surfaces."
Tweet #garybunt