The National Union of Tunisian Lawyers discussed the creation of a legal framework to address cyber-crimes such as defamation and online terrorism during a forum held Friday.
Chawki Tabib, head of the union, emphasized the pivotal role the Internet played during the revolution and stressed that online freedom will not be affected. Yet, he insisted, there must be regulation.
“We want the role of the internet in resisting corruption to continue after January 14,” he said. “Yet over the previous months, violations have grown and we have noticed many cases of defamation as well as economic and terrorist crimes.”
Through Friday’s International Forum for Cyber Crimes, which was broadcast online, participants discussed creation of a legal framework to address such abuses, drawing on examples taken from the legislation of developed countries, Tabib said.
“We are for freedom and freedom of expression online, but we are also for a responsible freedom,” Tabib said.
The forum featured Tunisian lawyers as well as international experts, and participants debated issues such as “Terrorism Online” and “Violations of Private Life in the Digital Sphere.” French lawyer Myriam Quemener described her country’s laws on cyber-crimes and Mohammed Messai, a Tunisian judge and researcher, revealed a legal proposal related to cyber-crimes that will be presented to the National Constituent Assembly.
The forum follows a proposal from the Tunisian government earlier this month to create a new agency that would regulate the Internet and investigate cyber-crimes.
“The only form of censorship that could be referred to [at the conference] is that which will enable people to be protected against defamation and terrorism,” Tabib told Mosaique FM. “We need to have the means and legal framework to put an end to these cyber-crimes.”