26 January, 2009

New media law would make blogger anonymity illegal?

As reported in the Khaleej Times
The law is not clear on blogging, said Gureni Lukwaro, a print media student. Though it does not ban blogging, the law stipulates that the blogger cannot remain anonymous. “Blogging could be regulated by this law. Blogs are free statements, something that cannot be backed by facts as they are only opinions. That is why it is done in anonymity. This law could curb that freedom,” Lukwaro said.
Is this a misreading of the proposed law?


fellow atheist said...

A law you cannot implement is a pointless one.

It's also obvious that this 'student' is misinterpreting the law.

alexander... said...

Hard to tell, haven't seen a full copy. But not sure what this report is based on. It seems pretty unsubstantiated to me, to be honest!

the real nick said...

Well researched by Khaleej Times: three vague opinions by media students.

Seabee said...

The law isn't clear on blogging? The law isn't clear on anything!

And of course we aren't anonymous to the authorities, they know very well who we are.

Using a nom de plume has always been a fact of life of writing. Editorial writers are anonymous, various commentators use a nom de plume, as do some radio presenters, novelists etc etc etc.

Gureni Lukwaro is a student who has an awful lot to learn. "Blogs cannot be backed by facts, they are only opinions". Oh really? He demonstrates that he knows little or nothing about blogs.

"That is why it is done in anonymity" Bullshit.

The Spear said...

I hope the UAE Government take a long hard look at what this law is doing to the image of the UAE.

The law as it is now, clearly is curbing freedom of opinion, or making having a opinion and placing it on the internet, dangerous.

In no way can I see this as progression.

I'm pretty sure that the UAE don't want to be seen as one of those countries that curb freedom of speech etc.

As it stands now, in its draft form, it is sort of ... Mugabe / Saddam etc. like. I get the feeling (personal opinion and in no way a fact) that some people are trying to window dress this thing and get it passed. You can put lipstick on a pig...

Let's hope sanity prevails.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

What difference does it make to everyone whether I remain anonymous or not?

this law reminds me of a similar law which was issued in one of the repressive countries in the region a while ago, requiring all blog and forum administators to ban/delete all anonymous comments/posts.

Bobbyferew999 said...

I heard on the radio the other day that in the case of blogs, the authorities have a policy of blocking websites deemed to be culturally or whatever an issue.....but would never take legal action against those expressing opinions on sites.....can anyone substantiate this?

Seabee said...

Bobby the TRA official said that sites are not blocked as such, access to them from the UAE can be blocked. They are of course accessible from anywhere else.

If I remember correctly he also said that opinion would not be punished, but the laws regarding defamation/personal insults would be applied if appropriate.

Alex, you co-hosted that show, do you remember more accurately than me?

alexander... said...

As I recall the conversation, Mr. Mohammed of the TRA confirmed what I always thought to be the case, that the TRA could and would act to block access to a site but would not act as a judicial authority on the content of a site. That is the role of the courts.

My understanding/memory of the conversation.

Anonymous said...

Finally. I've been waiting for a law like this!

John B. Chilton said...

Very funny,Blessing. If that's your 'real' name.

Anonymous said...

Actually, given my history, A Blessing in Tragedy is very descriptive.

And I wasnt trying to be funny.

rosh said...

That might be true ABIT, however, it's not your legal name, is it?

DUBAI JAZZ said...


Teacher4U said...

Even if this is a law, what would be the point of knowing the names of the opinion holders? besides the point of doing evil deeds. "Fellow athiest" you know what the Good Book says about non-believers right?

reem said...

Does anyone know how I can access a full copy of the law?

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