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 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.
- 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.
Honestly, after all what I have heard and read, I can only say: “NO!”