Bahrain's webmasters told to register

Bahrain's Ministry of Information has decreed that webmasters in the country must apply for a license number that they will have to display on their sites. This applies not only for people who are technically webmasters (i.e. operate their own servers) but also people who host abroad. Failure to do so would result in prosecution under Bahrain's press laws. The ministry also said that websites should respect the country's decency and libel laws.

From what I can tell, this would theoretically apply to bloggers, although I'm not sure it would apply to people using a service like Blogger or Typepad where it's fairly easy to remain anonymous.

See Chanad and Mahmood for more.

How long before other Arab countries catch up?
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.