Bloggers & Online Publishers May Need to Obtain A License to Start Off


It doesn’t come as a surprise for many bloggers or online publishers but surely it’s going to intricate the comfort startup zone for many who may need to obtain a license from government before the launch of any such services over the Internet. In last couple of years, government of many countries have gone through some tough time due to improper exposure of sensitive information through blogs or online publishing portals like Wikileaks.

Though, governments ensure their best to shut down such services or block provoking information but the damage always be done before any movement by authorities. To escape from such embarrassing situations again, many countries are seriously evaluating the option of accreditation for blogs or online information publishing websites.

In a recent move, Saudi Government has taken a step further by implementing such thoughts to secure its culture and tradition. Going further, all the bloggers or online publishers need to obtain a license from Culture and Information Ministry. All license holders will have to display their license information on their website. Surprisingly, Saudi Government has cropped the wings of such bloggers and owners of information portals who don’t hold the nationality of Saudi. Making it more restrictive, Saudi nationals who want to explore such initiatives should be over 20 years in age, must have high school or higher qualification and stand with a certificate of good record of appropriate behavior conduct.

Situation is not so different in other geographies. Countries, like U.S., U.K., India, China, Japan, South Korea etc, where Internet has substantial impact on personal & professional life, are also considering to have similar regulations to control the unauthorized or sensitive information to avoid any hoax situation. Authorities feel that ‘freedom to express words’ is creating challenging environment due to extensive improvement in network infrastructure across the globe. The flow of news is much faster than ever before due to extensive growth of Internet accessibility and social media acceptance.

Recent hap-hazards after Wikileak’s exposure and other similar incidents in many countries through online media are creating serious concerns among authorities. To control and track down sources of ‘so called’ illegal contents, government is examining a system which can be monitored, tailored or even altered based on the impact of information.

However, industry seems to be divided in two parts on such system. Many offline (and few online) publishing houses are leaning towards the government but most of the online communities are opposing such initiative. They justify their stand with the human rights to express their views and say.

We would like to ask form our readers whether they consider such moves in a positive direction or stand with opposition.

Do you think Online properties, especially blogs and online information publishing portals, should go under licensing act ?

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