Internet influence and regulation : a case study in Saudi Arabia
This study focuses on how the country embraces the new technology of the Internet and its attendant effects while at the same time protecting the values and traditions which define the Saudi identity. This study also examines a range of theoretical and contextual debates that are relevant to the issues addressed in this research. Among the debates examined are: globalisation, Internet influence, censorship and regulation, sovereignty as well as the tensions emanating from interactions between political spaces and cultural flows. Materials for the study were collected through the use of in-depth interviews with top policy makers in Saudi Arabia as well as through the use of questionnaires to collect data on the views of the citizens of Saudi Arabia about their use of the Internet and views on Internet regulation in Saudi Arabia. The findings in the study indicate that while there is widespread adoption of the Internet in Saudi Arabia, there is still a wide range of debates on the extent to which it should be allowed a free reign in the society. While the arguments continue, the introduction of the Internet in Saudi Arabia has opened up a number of social and political spaces that might not be available without the Internet.