At the time the Internet in most of these countries was a relatively open and unconstrained space for free expression, but the countries also typically featured a repressive environment for traditional media and had recently considered or introduced legislation that would negatively affect Internet freedom.
One factor contributing to the changes is the influence new media technologies have on Kuwaiti society, especially on youth.
The paper focuses on the meanings and democratic potentials of the internet for youth in the context of the Gulf Arab country of Kuwait.
Hence a person could be charged on this federal penal code, or under a local (emirate) penal code.
Despite the penal code's mention of a death penalty, executions for same-sex sexual conduct have not been implemented in the country.
Government ministers and public officials—such as the head of Riyadh’s so-called morality police—have been dismissed from posts due to public uproar over viral videos of abuse on social media.
Large numbers of Saudis use circumvention tools to access banned content and services, even if they are reluctant to express themselves due to strict legal penalties for political, social, or religious speech on certain topics.
The United Arab Emirates includes the Emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah.
Sexual relations outside a heterosexual marriage is a crime.
Through 2010 the Open Net Initiative had documented Internet filtering by governments in over forty countries worldwide.