Rumours about restricting public freedom baseless: Kuwait

Kuwait's Ministry of Interior on Wednesday said that claims carried by social networks that it has enacted measures to restrict public freedom, especially the freedom of speech, were baseless.

The ministry was reacting to online reports claiming that a new telecommunications law was enforced in Kuwait to track and record personal phone calls, monitor social networks and that the process uses the civil register and fingerprint of users.

In a press statement carried by the state news agency Kuna, the ministry said: "There is no basis for claims that the ministry monitors personal phone calls or services offered by the social networks through many popular apps.

"Tracking cybercrime would not require watching social networks or internet users in general with an eye to incriminate them."

The statement said the cybercrime law enforced in January "enables the Ministry of Interior to carry out certain steps such as first responding to a complaint about the occurrence of a cybercrime and then following it up with pertinent investigation with the end result of eventually nabbing the offender or offenders."

Hackers, those who set up illegal websites, carry out online money­laundering schemes or deal in human trafficking or illegal drugs online, all face strict jail sentences and hefty fines, the ministry's statement said.