Riham's Blog

Lebanese E-Transaction Law

So we have good news and bad news.

The good news is that our government finally caught up with the rest of the world, and realized that the internet is happening. This is why laws and regulations need to be set in place in order to protect the Lebanese citizen, and create a safe and private environment for him/her to browse the internet.
The bad news is that the law that they are supposed to vote on does not do any of the above.

The most disturbing part of it for me was the below article:

Article 82. The Agency may, within the exercise of its functions set out in this Act, carry out inspections of financial, administrative and electronic access to any information or computer systems or tools related to operations, including those used for data processing in relation with private information.Employees are entrusted inspection functions as an specialized judicial police within the scope of the Authority’s work. Public Prosecutions and the investigating judges and courts may use the Authority in their investigations, provided that the staff of the agency concerned had sworn before the Court of Appeal in Beirut prior to their work.

In a time when security and privacy breaches are causing scandals and controversy around the world, an article such as this one strikes me as a little shocking. Who gets to cease the data, and how do we know for sure that they are qualified and unbiased? So many questions to be asked. Read more

I tried to read around a little bit to see some data about internet users in Lebanon and the way they browse the internet, and I was linked to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority‘s website. In a section entitled Internet & Data, we read the below paragraph.

“Both local and regional investors have indicated an eagerness to invest in the telecommunications infrastructure in Lebanon. [They] will find a ready consumer base of well educated and highly skilled people with an eager appetite for new technologies. […] With the TRA in place, the groundwork has been set for new technologies and licensees to enter the market. This provides a vital opportunity for the country to leap frog to leading edge technology, and catch up with the region. In addition, the TRA has been active in developing a Regulatory Framework in line with international best practices.” source

Lebanon, you’re a country that contradicts itself over & over. A law with articles as backwards as the one that might (will?) be voted on, these eager investors will run away. Stop pushing us to the past when we are trying to move forward. For once, vote on something that goes for our benefits, rather than unexplained backwards laws.

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