Internet Café permits
Three months after the government stopped issuing（发放）or renewing permits for Internet cafes because of security（安全）concerns, some cafe owners are having financial（经济的）concerns of their own.
The permits were stopped suddenly three months ago by the government until new safeguards could be put in place to prevent misuse of the information superhighway, but for cafe owners it’s a business breakdown with no fix in sight.
“I handed in a request to open up an Internet cafe and received the conditions,” said the businessman Obeidallah. “I rented a place in the Sharafiah district at SR45, 000 and prepared the place with equipment that cost me more than SR100, 000. When I went to the local government after finishing everything, I was surprised to find that they’d stopped issuing permits for Internet cafes.”
Having an Internet cafe without Internet is much like having a coffee shop without coffee. “I’m avoiding closing the place, but it’s been more than three months with the situation ongoing as it is.” Obeidallah said. “Who will bear the losses caused by the permit issue?”
The decision took many cafe owners by surprise. “I asked to open an Internet cafe, and I was handed a list of all the things that were needed to follow through, such as a sign for the place, filling out forms,” said Hassan Al-Harbi.
“I did all that was asked and rented a place. And after the Haj vacation I went to the local government and they surprised me, saying that there are new rules that forbid the issuing of any more Internet cafe permits and that one can’t even renew his permit. I’ve lost more than SR80,000,” Al-harbi added.
As for the government, officials say a method to deal with it is on the way. But security concerns come before profit（盈利).