Lebanon News

Lebanon judge receives report on illegal internet case

Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr attends a ceremony in Roumieh, Monday, June 16, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr received documents Saturday from the Telecommunications Ministry over illegal internet operations in Lebanon linked to Israel, the state-run National News Agency reported.

The NNA said that Saqr received documents from Minister Boutros Harb over the inquiry, which was conducted by the government-owned telecoms company Ogero into the unlicensed internet networks.

It added that Saqr, who was tasked by the government to investigate the issue earlier this month, will study the documents’ findings before making any decisions.

With the help of the intelligence directorate, Saqr is also looking into claims that these networks were used by Israel to spy on citizens and sensitive state institutions.

This comes one day after Harb announced the formation of a technical committee to assist Saqr in his investigations.

These ongoing investigations are aimed at tracking down suspects involved in the illegal internet operations, which Harb said last month posed a “national security threat.”

Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil revealed earlier this week that the state had lost out on some $200 million as a result of these “illegal” Internet providers.

The owners of these unauthorized Internet stations were buying bandwidth from Turkey and Cyprus and selling it to Lebanese subscribers at prices below official rates, according to Harb.

 

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