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DUBAI, April 3, 2018 (Reuters) - Spying on your spouse’s phone in Saudi Arabia now carries a hefty fine and up to a year in prison, under a new law that aims to “protect morals of individuals and society and protect privacy”.

The punishment will apply to both men and women, according to a statement late on Monday by the ministry of culture.

Called the Anti-Cybercrime Law, the measure makes “spying on, interception or reception of data transmitted through an information network or a computer without legitimate authorisation” a crime. It imposes a penalty up to 500,000 Saudi riyal ($133,000), prison or both.

“Social media has resulted in a steady increase in cybercrimes such as blackmail, embezzlement and defamation, not to mention hacking of accounts”, the ministry said.

A similar law on the books in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates also bars the practice, carrying a minimum three-month prison term and 3,000 dirham ($817) fine.

The oil-rich and tech-obsessed countries are among the most avid social media users in the world.

CAIRO, March 22 (MENA) - Tourism Minister Rania el Mashat approved on Thursday recommendations submitted by the Higher Committee for Hajj and Omra to regulate the Hajj offered by tour operators for the 1439 AH pilgrimage season.

The tourism minister has assigned head of the travel agencies sector at the ministry Mohamed Shalaan to swiftly start implementing measures needed to receive applications from travel agencies willing to organise pilgrimage trips this year.

Mashat directed Shalaan to tighten control over the implementation of the Hajj programmes offered by tour operators and make sure that travel agencies are abiding by what have been agreed upon with pilgrims.

Mashat vowed to take firm action against any travel agency that will not abide by contractual obligations to citizens regarding the Hajj packages.

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