05:48 GMT +322 February 2019
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    Saudi Arabia Criminalizes Spousal Spying on Cellphones

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    Saudi Arabia has reportedly passed a law preventing spouses from illegally accessing each other’s mobile phones, adding it to the IT-ranked crimes.

    According to Gulf Digital News, citing legal sources, if caught on spying on each other’s smartphones, husbands and wives will spend up to a year in prison, or will have to pay a fine not exceeding 500,000 Saudi riyals ($133,565), or even receive both forms of punishment.

    Such penalties will be applied to partners who share or send the information that they have gained access to; if they access the phone without using the data, the spouses will receive a warning from the judge depending on the circumstances of the case and the damage caused to the person whose phone was snooped through.

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    Legal Advisor Abdul Aziz bin Batel told Al Arabiya that any crime committed using computers, smartphones and cameras shall be viewed as a cybercrime and will be punished accordingly.

    "The article specifies that the punishments target those who commit information crimes, namely tapping, intercepting or sharing through the internet, without a justification or for threatening or extortion," Batel explained.

    Saudi Arabia is not the only country where spying on your spouse’s phone is illegal; in 2016 an Arab expat woman living in the United Arab Emirates was fined and deported because she checked her husband’s phone without his permission, suspecting that he was having an affair. The woman had reportedly sent pictures, which could allegedly incriminate him for being unfaithful, from his cell to hers via the WhatsApp messenger. After she accused him of infidelity, he filed a complaint with the court accusing her of accessing his phone and sending information without his knowledge.


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