Just weeks before the much-anticipated vote, Qatar’s election committee has published a set of rules for all candidates in an attempt to combat malicious cyberattacks. Following a succession of online disinformation operations by parties seeking to sway debate as the Gulf state prepares for its first parliamentary vote, the action attempts to increase awareness about the hazards of cybercrime. According to local Arabic daily Al Raya, the committee’s manual gives insight into early indicators of potential misinformation and proposes measures to maintain control to guarantee a peaceful voting process.
To avoid a cyberattack or the dissemination of fake news, the rules also recommend that candidates develop communication channels, including personal social media profiles.
In the event of an unexpected occurrence, the handbook suggests that each candidate have a secure response strategy in place to resist any potential cyberattacks, as well as a series of questions to evaluate how prepared the campaign is or isn’t. The committee also emphasized that all members of prospective technical teams should be trustworthy and well-qualified to handle online campaigns, with a clear and well-defined non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement in place.