National Committee for Internet Safety Launched

Today, Safer Internet Day, marks the official launch of a new committee, the National Committee for Internet Safety (NCIS).

The Committee’s goal is to help create a safer online environment in Qatar by raising awareness about Internet safety issues and improving online safety education. The NCIS was formed with the support of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) and includes representatives from the government, key industries, law enforcement, academia, non-governmental organizations, parents and local youth.

“We all recognize the immense benefits the Internet brings to us and we also recognize the need to ensure it is used safely by everyone in Qatar. The National Committee for Internet Safety will bring a multi-stakeholder approach to creating a safer online environment here and will focus on creating digitally literate individuals who are empowered to make the right decisions for themselves and their families when using the Internet,” said Fatma Ali Al-Noaimi, committee member, Cyber Safety Section Manager at ictQATAR.

The Committee will work to commission research around Internet safety, offer support to organizations and individuals and identify specific solutions to a range of Internet safety issues.

“Qatar is experiencing a transformation which will deliver the next generation of internet services to customers at home and on the move. Tremendous growth in products like mobile broadband and Internet Protocol TV means network providers like Qtel need to work cooperatively with content creators and customers to enable the safe enjoyment of all that the Internet can offer,” said Eric Priezkalns, Qtel’s Director of Risk Management.

The NCIS has already established three working committees to focus their initial efforts. One committee will focus on family issues, specifically building awareness among children and parents. The second committee will examine content management, focusing on how the content industry can help support online safety. The third committee examines Internet safety from the legal perspective, offering guidance and recommendations on any legislation or policies that could be adopted to enhance cyber safety in the country. 

“The Legal Sub-Committee will be assigned a number of key tasks, including examining the content deemed illegal as per current legislation and closely studying whether there has been clear inclusion of inappropriate Internet uses such as pornography, religious defamation and human trafficking. The Sub-Committee is also tasked with preparing and executing training programs and workshops on Internet crimes for the various stakeholders involved, as well as creating awareness on the associated legislations in the relevant sectors in Qatari society. This places Qatar at the forefront of regional and international legislators in coping with the latest legal ICT developments,” said Mohammed Mohei, Legal Expert at the Ministry of Justice.

“The National Committee for Internet Safety will work to ensure a safe Internet environment that can only be achieved with increased awareness levels on how to enjoy the vast Internet world safely and responsibly,” said Mona Mohammed Al Kuwari, Head of the Family Sub-Committee.

The organizations that have representative members on the NCIS include the ictQATAR, Q-CERT, the Ministry of Awqaf, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Family Consulting Center, the Supreme Education Council, QTel, Vodafone Qatar, the Peninsula, Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development, Qatar Foundation for Combating Human Trafficking, Qatar Foundation for Child and Women Protection, Social Rehabilitation Centre, Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar and Qatar University.