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Saudi authorities have in recent months exposed several cyber offences. Illustrative image. Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cairo: Social media users employing artificial intelligence (AI) for defaming and harming others could face up to five years in prison, a Saudi lawyer has warned.

“In case artificial intelligence is proven to have been used in slander and tampering to cause harm to others, penalty can reach imprisonment for five years,” lawyer Saeed Al Qarni told Saudi TV Al Ekhbariya.

He was commenting on the spread of AI-enhanced video clips exploiting the technology to tamper with other persons’ voices.

Okaz newspaper reported in August that a prosecution-linked monitoring centre keeps an eye round the clock on material transmitted on social media to spot any “criminalised activity”.

Saudi authorities have in recent months exposed several cyber offences.

Earlier this month, a Saudi media regulator fined an online celebrity SR100,000 and revoked her licence over remarks deemed harmful to family values.

The General Authority of Media Regulation said the Snapchat influencer had appeared in a video and used “inappropriate phrases inciting family damage”. The regulator did not name the celebrity, but some media reports alleged she is Asma Al Sayari, a famous content creator, who recently appeared in a video advising men to shun certain acts while being out for the first time with their fiancées including excessive jealousy and ordering “saver meals”.

In August, a Saudi state media watchdog summoned a snapchat user for questioning over featuring a content deemed immoral and slanderous. The female user in question had purportedly appeared in clips including offensive slurs against others, Saudi media reported.

The General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) had reportedly summoned the girl, whose age or name was not disclosed, and completed her official data before referring her to public prosecution.

The offence is punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of SR3 million, or one of the two penalties according to the kingdom’s anti-cybercrime law.

In July, GCAM summoned a celebrated female Tiktoker accused of making racial comments in a broadcast, and violating electronic media rules in the kingdom.