Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We won't stand still while another stupid law passes - Stop LIRA

By Rana Khoury
Between not knowing what to fight for in this country, to sometimes just feeling like you want to pack your bags and leave, you wake up one day and realize that there is a guy called "Walid Daouk", who happens to be the minister of media, drafting a law about the Internet (1st mistake, it's actually electronic media) which consists of 8 articles -ايه وللله يعطيك العافية تعبت - who are as vague as a teenager whose only care in the world is driving a BMW with 2 exhausts, tinted windows and zammour tirarirarat tat tat. Oh wait, actually this teenager knows what he wants!

Back to Daouk, does this guy even know what he's doing? Is he this vague because of his ignorance? or is it the typical Lebanese law that keeps everything written in such an unclear manner in order to keeps things in control the way "they" like it?

This is the law known as "Lebanese Internet Regulations Act" or LIRA:

مشروع قانون للإعلام الإلكتروني 

المادة الاولى: النشر بواسطة الوسائل الالكترونية او غيرها حر لا قيد على هذه الحرية إلا بمقتضى القوانين المرعية الاجراء. يحظر نشر بواسطة الوسائل الالكترونية ما يمس الآداب العامة والاخلاق وما يتعلق بألعاب الميسر والقمار.

المادة 2: يعنى بالتواصل الالكتروني، ارسال واستقبال ونشر وبث ونقل المعلومات والتصرف بها وحفظها، من خلال الوسائل الالكترونية او الموجات الكهرومغنطيسية او وسائط رقمية او أي وسيلة أخرى، أكانت اشارات أم كتابات أم نصوصا أم أصواتا أم صورا ثابتة ومتحركة أو يمكن ان تترافق معا وتمكن اعادة استخدامها.

المادة 3: التواصل الالكتروني يتم بين العموم ويجري من خلال تداول المعلومات التي ليس لها طابع المراسلات الشخصية، ويمكن وضع محتواها في متناول العموم او أي فرد بناء على الطلب.

المادة 4: يعنى بالموقع الالكتروني المنظومة المعلوماتية التي لها اسم وعنوان محددان بوضوح وبيانات يقوم صاحبه بإيداعها وزارة الاعلام لقاء ايصال، شرط تقديم البيانات الآتية، وهي:

أ – اسم مالك الموقع وهويته أكان شخصا معنويا أم طبيعيا.
ب – اسم المدير المسؤول الذي يعينه صاحب الموقع من الاشخاص الطبيعيين وعنوانه في لبنان وبيانات الاتصال به، ويمثّل الموقع أمام الجهات الادارية والقضائية. ويجب ان تتوافر له الشروط الآتية:
- أن يكون متمتعا بحقوقه المدنية والسياسية وغير محكوم بجنحة شائنة او جناية.
- ألا يكون مديرا مسؤولا لأكثر من موقع الكتروني واحد.
- ألا يكون من الاشخاص المتمتعين بأي حصانة قضائية.
المادة 5: يمكن أن يكون صاحب الموقع مديرا مسؤولا له، في حال توافرت الشروط الواردة اعلاه.
المادة 6: تطبق على العاملين في المواقع الالكترونية الاعلامية الاحكام والانظمة التي تطبق على الصحفيين والمراسلين والعاملين، الواردة مهماتهم في قانون المطبوعات، القانون 382/94.
المادة 7: تطبق على المواقع الالكترونية الاعلامية، القوانين والانظمة التي ترعى أصول نشر وبث الاعلان او الدعاية او الترويج لحدث او منتج او جهة أو شخص، ولا سيما تلك المتعلقة بحقوق الملكية الادبية والفكرية.
المادة 8: تتولى محكمة المطبوعات النظر في كل ما له علاقة بالمخالفات والنزاعات القضائية الناتجة من المواقع الالكترونية وأعمالها.
وزير الإعلام
وليد الداعوق" 
This is taken from annahar's article posted on March 7, 2012.

I overheard that such a law won't pass. I already once wrote about this "Is the government trying to be the blogs durex?" Back then, none of us was sure where this is going. But word on the street is, Daouk jumped a step by not letting this law go through parliament and instead took it immediately to the cabinet.

How can we identify if a website is Lebanese?
Mr. Daouk claims that this doesn't have to do with limiting freedom of speech or expression. تاب يا خييي, re-read your law? There are no scientific clear criteria. I cannot even tell how you can identify whether a website is Lebanese or not? Is it just by being hosted on a Lebanese server? Or should the domain be owned by a Lebanese person? Is it by any resident in Lebanon, whether they're Lebanese or not? Does it also apply on Lebanese living abroad? Are blogs (*.blogspot.com, *.wordpress.com) included? Blogs in private domains? What about social networks? Does everyone who has a facebook need to go to the ministry of information, register and request a receipt that they can frame it? "ييروزه"?

Article 4-B), the funniest one: if you've ever been convicted as opposed to "لا حكم عليه", you are not allowed to express yourself online?

"بسّ كتير في احترام الى حقوق الانسان"

And what about the one about managing more than one website? So I can own more than one? but cannot manage more than one? Is it the same thing? Is it not? DUDE, EXPLAIN!

TIme to move speak up
Whether this is a joke or not, we obviously, as bloggers, shouldn't stand still and make ourselves heard. We are FOR organizing the electronic media and protecting our rights, but we are AGAINST any form of vague law that can convict us in any form or way they like. The hashtag #StopLIRA will be used on twitter. And stay tuned, because we are not gonna stand still while we watch another stupid law pass. We will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the future steps, so whoever is interested let us know so we can tell you when and where.


  1. This is one of the most *censored* laws ever passed in the history of Lebanon! When will *censored* politicians realize that their *censored* laws are illogical and vague? *Censored* *censored* *censored* and the horse he rode in on.

  2. I'd like to know Mr. Daouk's qualifications. What's his university degree and previous job experience?

    1. They usually mention when they're picked as ministers, usually done in newspapers. Maybe they're online somewhere

  3. Don't we need decent internet first, before they can regulate it? :-P

  4. This is a Lebanese joke!! walaw?!

  5. Come on people we need to stand up to this kind of absurdity. Seriously this kind of s*** can't be what Lebanon is becoming. It's bad enough that everything about the country is completely corrupt. Until now we were proud to have an uncensored internet in our country (I was anyway), even if it was one of the slowest and most expensive in the world.
    This is the kind of laws that aren't just hurtful by themselves, it will open new ways of controlling us and it will give other corrupt people ideas.
    Please please please I beg every one of you to please stand up to this horror.
    Let's discuss what we can do. I personally don't think a demonstration will be enough, as Lebanese are profoundly lazy and it will probably be so small that it will be ignored, ridiculed and no one will take it seriously, which will actively reduce our influence instead of growing it.
    I'm still open to it and if there's no alternative I'm all for it.
    However we may be able to find other more impacting ways.
    Thank you to anyone who read this entire comment.

    -Lebanese Citizen

    1. We are definitely not standing still. Thanks for the support

  6. who exactly would benefit from LIRA? Would money be flowing to the Ministry of Information? What's the logic behind it all?