Parliament Scheduled to Vote on Law that Could Curb Online Freedom
Parliament is scheduled to vote on a new ICT law on Tuesday that could have negative implications for the Lebanese economy and curb individual freedoms.
To date, the private sector and civil society were not given a proper chance to comment on the law.
Some of the most notable points in the law include Article 92 that demands that anyone providing online services must apply for a license, which would result in more paperwork, bureaucracy, and delays, and consequently discourage people from such services.
Another point, Article 82, allows for the search and seizure of financial, managerial, and electronic files, including hard drives and computers. This grants the government powers to raid a company and seize assets and information at will.
Article 70 paves the way for the establishment of the Electronic Signature & Services Authority, a new regulatory and licensing body with wide powers over the ICT sector.
Many deputies are rallying against this law because it is seen as one-sided and holds dangerous implications on the economic prospects of Lebanon.
Activists have called on people to contact MPs and urge them to postpone the vote, pending a public review period.
They have also mobilized on social media websites to highlight the law’s negative repercussions. Stop This Law Facebook Page.
la source est le Narharnet!
We need you to ACT now to stop the E-Transactions law.
Tomorrow, Parliament is scheduled to vote on a new E-Transactions law that could have terrible implications for the Lebanese economy and for professional and personal privacy. To date, private sector and civil society have not been allowed to comment on the law.
Among the articles of concern are:
§ Article 92, saying anyone providing online services must apply for a license. Result: More paperwork, more bureaucracy, more delays, less revenue.
§ Article 82, allowing for the warrantless search and seizure of financial, managerial, and electronic files, including hard drives, computers, etc. Result: The government has pre-approval to seize your company and personal assets and information, without cause.
§ Article 70, establishing the Electronic Signature & Services Authority, a new regulatory and licensing body with practically unchecked powers. Result: Another agency, who can make or break your organization at their whim.
We may need some regulations on doing online business in Lebanon. But, unless the key stakeholders can comment on the law, it will be one-sided, flawed, and dangerous to the economic prospects of Lebanon and the privacy of your daily life.
ACT NOW! Many deputies are rallying against this law but want to hear your voice. Ask your MP to postpone the vote on the E-Transactions Law, pending a public review.
Here are quick and easy ways you can help:
§ Call your Member of Parliament and urge them to postpone the vote, pending a public review period.
§ Forward this message to your colleagues, family, and friends—anyone who uses the Internet will be affected!
§ Post on the Facebook Pages of your MP, calling on them to postpone the vote, pending a public review period.
§ Join the Stop This Law Facebook Page.
§ If you’re a journalist or blogger, consider writing a short post highlighting the potential pitfalls of the law.
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