Lebanon Businessnews News

National Committee for ICT and liberties to be launched
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An independent National Committee for ICT and online liberties is under discussion. A draft law is being prepared and will be sent to the Cabinet for review and approval, said Farid Jabbour, founding member of the Lebanese Information Technology Association (LITA).

According to Jabbour, the country lacks proper legislation to protect online data, e-activity, and against cybercrime. “This committee will have a similar activity to the French Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL),” he said.

The project is founded by LITA, along with La Direction de la Francophonie Numérique, in collaboration with the Centre Arabe de Recherches Juridiques et Judiciaires (CARJJ), a subsidiary of the Arab League. The project is also supported by the local Ministry of Justice and the Beirut Bar Association.

Currently, the personal data draft law is being discussed in parliamentary joint committees. Jabbour said that the role of the planned committee will be more comprehensive than the currently-discussed law. “The discussed law has many gaps and our vision of the committee accompanies the fast development pace of the ICT sector,” he said.

The committe will be a joint private-public cooperation. It is expected to have eight members, representatives of the sector’s stakeholders.

The Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Bureau of the Internal Security Forces, headed by Major Suzan Hajj will report to the committee. “The committee will be in action as soon as the law is approved,” Jabbour said.

The ICT sector is fast growing, with an expected market size of over $400 million, as of 2015. It employs around 5,000 people. According to IDAL, the market is expected to reach a value of $570 million in 2017. The positive performance of this sector has benefited from massive investments in the telecom infrastructure, broadband capacity and speed.

The Government has announced an ICT strategy to develop the sector. It has already achieved its first step towards e-government by launching Dawlati, the e-portal in 2013. Many policies and plans are taken in the direction of boosting and supporting the ICT sector, including Circular 331, launched by the Central Bank.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Apr 21, 2015
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