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Proposed e-media law defective, say social activists, media personalities

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 14: Several social activists and media personalities affirm that the proposed media law is defective, urging the sponsors to seek opinion of e-publishers before enactment, reports Al-Qabas daily. Speaking at a recent seminar entitled “E-Media Law” organized by Kuwait Society of Engineers, Director of Security Leadership Institute Retired Lieutenant General Musaed Al-Ghuwaenim pointed to many crimes committed via the imaginary world. He said electronic crimes have destroyed many happy homes to the extent that it brought about divorce among several couples.

He noted some teenagers also engage in the criminal acts due to things they learn on the computer, and the most serious issue is that the user or publisher can erase his data immediately if he realizes he could he held accountable for the action, thus making it difficult to find tenable proofs against such culprits. For his part, the representative of Literary Society columnist Ibrahim Al-Mulaifi disclosed that people still suffer from the preliminary problem of specifying a section of the proposed law. He observed a significant contradiction among the officials in media sector on its introduction to the public.

He stated it is unconstitutional to hold bloggers or owners of private accounts on social media accountable for their blogs, pointing to a form of laxity on the part of lawmakers in that regard. He noted the fear is about voting for and against the bill, alleging proponents of the bill are afraid of the difficulty in implementing some aspects of it, while the opponents (literary icons and philosophers) are afraid the law could target them.

Speaking on the same issue, Attorney Hussein Al-Abdullah said e-media bill violates the constitution. He called on the lawmakers and media outfits to stand firm against it, citing indiscriminate arrest of bloggers as a major shortcoming of the bill that violates people’s freedom. He reaffirmed the bill violates Articles 18,35 and 36 of the constitution, noting a meeting of the Parliamentary Education Committee held in April in presence of the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and Minister of Information Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al- Sabah concluded that government should review the proposal. He reiterated the ministry’s consultants issued necessary recommendations to the executive authority in writing. “Unfortunately, they did not review the aspects pointed out for amendment”.

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