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Jun 3, 2022

On Syria’s New Cybercrime Law

According to Article 29, I can face up to 15 years in prison for my online tool tracking in real-time the exchange rates of the Syrian pound on the black market.

Here you can find the 15-years-in-prison-worthy tool:

The law is littered with vague terms, such as the slandering of public sector employees doing their job, found in Paragraph B of Article 24. This “slandering” could very well be criticism or a bad review online. It is now punishable by up to 12 months in prison.

In Article 35, the law assumes that resharing content online definitely means an endorsement, so both the content creator and anyone who reposts the content face the same punishment. Apparently, the law doesn’t even leave room for retweets ≠ endorsement anymore.

The infamous “undermining the prestige of the state” that most Syrians make fun of is punishable by 3–5 years in prison, according to Article 28. The law defines “Undermining the prestige of the state” as publishing false news and information with the aim of bringing down the status of the state and its components (including its idols).

In other words, any criticism that challenges the regime’s narrative.

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