The Government of Bahrain has announced that all blogs hosted in the country or written by its citizens must be registered with the Ministry of Information by 2 November 2005.
A spokesman claims that the moves were “..not a repressive step. On the contrary it is intended to protect people running websites, who in future will be able to protect their rights of authorship.”
“Registration will be automatic and no-one will be turned down whatever the content.” The name, address and telephone number of site administrators would be required on registration. It would be free and there would be no need for any financial guarantees. After each registration was validated, the blogger would receive an ID number that would have to be posted on the site.
Reporters Without Borders has opposed the move, stating that “[the] decision will intimidate online editors and push them into cutting back on their publication’s interactive aspects”.