"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 12 2020

DOI 10.31857/S032150750012793-4
Аuthor Alexey M. VASILIEV
member, Russian Academy of Science, Professor, Honorary President, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Head, Department of African and Arabic Studies, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University); Editor-in-Chief, “Aziya i Afrika segodnya” journal ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Abstract:    Development of TV and Internet is changing general and political culture of the Saudi citizens. The Kingdom is the most conservative country in the Middle East. The number of iPhones per 1000 citizens put the Kingdom on the third place in the world. And the government seeks ways and means to filter the information available for the users in electronic mass media and in the cyberspace forbidding penetration of the opposition political views, criticism of the huge royal family, disagreement in the Wahhabi doctrine or just critical views towards Wahhabi ulemas. The government created a gigantic proxy-server in the KingAbdulazizCity for Science and Technology which uses a firewall against both political and moral “inappropriate” information.
   But if censorship of TV is more or less effective, the anti-regime information can penetrate through the firewall of KACST. It has turned the cyberspace into a field of virtual confrontation of the regime and all kinds of opposition movements.
   The Saudi cyberspace has become a sort of a virtual “parliament” as well as an instrument for peers relations, business communications and entertainment. But the most important problem for the regime is to keep the ideological differences in the limits of “appropriate” discussion what is becoming more and more difficult in the light of growing economic stagnation, low prices for oil and international conflicts.
   The kingdom during its existence for more than a century could overcome the challenges for its survival. For the time being only future will show how the kingdom could resolve its today difficulties.
Keywords: Saudi Arabia, cyberspace, electronic mass media, regime and opposition, firewall, censorship
Pages 15-18