Saudi snitching app turns citizens into social media police

A Saudi app that lets ordinary people “play the role of a police officer” may have alerted authorities to the tweets of a student whose sentencing to 34 years in jail has drawn international condemnation. Just weeks after the verdict against Salma Al-Shehab – a doctoral candidate at Britain’s Leeds University – rights groups say another woman was given a 45-year sentence for her social media posts – highlighting a crackdown targeting women online. Nourah bint Saeed Al-Qahtani was convicted of “using the internet to tear the (Saudi) social fabric”, according to DAWN, a Washington-based human rights group. While it is not clear how Qahtani’s posts were detected, rights groups think Shehab was reported by citizens using “Kollona Amn”, a government app that lets […]

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