Date: Oct 14, 1998 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 13 Oct 1998

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 13 Oct 1998
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There are 2 messages totalling 122 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. NEWS98 - Saudi Arabia to Censor the Internet
2. Dr. Peyman's European Tour


Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 21:10:38 GMT
Subject: NEWS98 - Saudi Arabia to Censor the Internet

Monday, October 12, 1998 Published at 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK

World: Middle East

Saudi Arabia awaits Internet connection

No access, but information about Saudi Arabia is already
available on the Internet

By Gulf Correspondent Frank Gardner

The Saudi authorities have once again postponed the
allocation of the country's first Internet Service Provider
(ISP) licences.

Over 40 IT companies have been short-listed to provide
Internet access in Saudi Arabia, a country with a
population of 19 million and an estimated half a million
computer users, and the lucky winners will be expected to
be operational by the end of the year.

Although a small number of government offices, foreign
businesses and Saudi princes already access the Internet by
dialling up service providers outside the country, there is
no local Internet access, making Saudi Arabia the last Gulf
Arab state not yet on-line.

Internet services are likely to be a lucrative business,
with an estimated 120,000 subscribers expected to sign up
within the first year of operation.

But because of concerns over the possible influx of
pornography and politically sensitive material, government
officials say the introduction Internet services requires
careful planning.

Prospective ISPs have been required to submit detailed
financial information about themselves - and also needed to
demonstrate some patience.

Short-listed companies have been waiting throughout Monday
to learn whether they have been chosen as ISPs, only to be
told that the selection has been postponed by a week, until
19 October.

This has been the second delay in Saudi Arabia's Internet
programme, and the managing director of a Saudi IT company
told the BBC that such difficulties had made a number of
potential investors to think twice before funding Internet
projects in Saudi Arabia.

ISPs will also face a high degree of centralisation. In
order to filter out material which the authorities consider
undesirable, a government-appointed body will become the
node through which all web-sites will be accessed.

Using technology imported from abroad, the King Abdulaziz
City for Science and Technology in Riyadh has installed a
system that will prevent end-users from viewing
pornographic, politically sensitive, or fanatically
religious material.

The ultimate arbiter on what will be permissible will be
the Ministry of Interior, but the system is expected to be
updated on a daily basis.

Yet the spokesman for a Saudi opposition group in London
said that that such filters were largely irrelevant since
the country was already inundated with what is considered
immoral material through satellite television.

Others believe that as satellite communication becomes more
affordable, an increasing number of Saudi Arabia's Internet
users will be able to access foreign websites without going
through Riyadh.


Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 00:04:30 +0100
From: Asghar Abdi <A.Abdi@BTINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Dr. Peyman's European Tour

The program for Dr Peyman's meetings and talks in Europe

Dr. Habibullah Peyman, a famous politico-intellectual personality and
the leader of the Jonbesh-e-Mosalmanan-e-Mobarez (JMM), has been invited
by the Secretary of the German-Green-Party Faction in the European
Parliament to tour Europe. The Council for the Co-ordination of
democratic Organisations (Shuray-e-Hamahangy- e-Nahadhay-e-Democratic)
has arranged for him to give lectures and to have meetings and talks
with Iranians in various cities of Europe. The main topic of the
lectures is "An Analysis of the present situation of the Movement for
Freedom and People's rule in Iran". The dates and names of the host
organisations in various cities are as follows:
Friday 9 Oct: Malmo, Sweden. Kanoon-e-Defa'a az Democracy dar Iran
Saturday 10 Oct: Stockholm, Sweden. Iran-Sweden Committee
Sunday 11 Oct: Oslo, Norway. The Cultural Centre of Iran and Norway.
Friday 23 Oct: Hambourg, Germany. Kanoon-e-Seyasi Farhangi-e-Iranian
Saturday 24 Oct. Berlin, Germany. Jameye Iranian-e- Azadikhah
Friday 30 Oct: Coln, Germany. Jameye Iranian-e- Democrat
Saturday 31 Oct: Frankfurt, Germany. Talashgaran-e-Jamey-e-Baz
Friday 6 November: Paris, France. Comite-ye-Bargozari
Sunday 8 November: London, England. Comite-ye-Bargozari

Fyvie Hall, University of Westminister, Regent Street (the closest
Underground Railway Station is Oxford Circus), London

Unofficial translation by A. Abdi

For further information, please contact


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 13 Oct 1998