e-Crimes draft law moves forward; To clamp down on online content that poses threat to security
The Qatari cabinet yesterday discussed the Advisory Council’s recommendations on the draft law on e-crimes, revealing more details on the provisions under the law.
QNA reports that according to the bill, the following acts are liable for punishment.
- Unlawful access of websites owned by the state, institutions, authorities or entities.
- Establishing a website with false content that threatens the internal and external security of the country.
- As per such a draft law, anyone who has exceeded any of the principles or social values or publish news or pictures or audio-video recordings related to the sanctity of the private and family life of the individuals, even if they are correct, or exceeded of others, via libel or slander through the Internet or an information technology device, will be also exposed to punishment.
The cabinet session was presided over by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs H E Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud.
The draft law has come under severe criticism from various organisations, as it is feared that it would be a threat to free speech online.
That the publishing of information, ‘even if they are correct’, can be punishable is of particular concern.