As society becomes modernized and so when working in Saudi Arabia. Many people in countries such as Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other countries exert efforts to go to Saudi Arabia since they cannot afford to have a satisfactory lifestyle by staying in their home country. Westerners also decide to settle down in Saudi Arabia as they cannot save as much in their native land. Nevertheless, there are compromises to be made by deciding to move in Saudi Arabia as life in the Kingdom may be a bit boring to expats. Based on a personal experience, you would long for weekends during weekdays and hope for weekdays during weekends. Without a family member in the country, life is hard. Hence, many people spend more time exchanging messages, calling their friends and surfing the web. This article’s main goal is to make people aware of the invisible “government’s eye” that keeps track of all your activities. Here are some that you need to be aware:
1. Vulgar or Pornographic Talks
Everything that you send whether it is through Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Line, SMS or Email is scanned thoroughly. All forms of pornography are banned in Saudi Arabia and all websites related to porn is banned in the Kingdom. By sharing videos and pictures from your phone or computer which is pornographic by nature, you will put yourself at risk.
Saudi nationals were already caught and punished for sharing porn material bot on personal message and in social media. There were also expats who related tales about getting caught and sent back to their native country on this offence.
It would be best to avoid saying anything with vulgar language and certain words that do not bear repeating in this post. Any language which is related to porn is not tolerated in the Kingdom.
Should you bring DVDs from your country, airport personnel strictly check all of these. You will not be able to bring your DVDs without showing what they contain.
2. Political Debates and Discussions
This is among the most critical things to keep in mind. No one should discuss political issues in public and this is one of the first things that colleagues taught me.
The same degree of caution should be observed even in phones and SMS as the country has a good connection network and intelligence system.
Should your messages be screened and you said something against the government, you will be in big trouble, seriously! I have not heard tales about this personally but even Saudi nationals who commit this offense are not spared.
If you are living in the Kingdom, you should know the disparity in treating Saudi nationals and expats especially if you are an expatriate.
3. Scanning Social Media Accounts
These days, most people have a social media presence as we like, share, comment, and tweet and retweet anything that interests us. But if you reside in Saudi Arabia, you should always think before you click.
There was a time when videos of the Dammam bombing became a hot topic in social media and the government released a circular stating that sharing videos of this nature will be treated as a crime as it tends to make the general public panic. If you did this and they catch you, you will be in a bad situation.
The primary issue is that in our home countries, we tend not to consider these things as crimes. This post is, of course, not for those who commit blackmailing, terrorism and similar crimes.
The primary goal of this post is to inform everyone that there is an invisible eye that is always watchful.