People in Samir Kassir Square protest the detention of activists following social media posts. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Many of Lebanon's lawmakers and media experts have identified that the country's outdated media laws urgently need updating. There is, however, little consensus on what the new legislation should look like, and as a result, a number of different laws have been introduced to Parliament, with each law having the potential to dramatically shape the future of free expression in Lebanon if passed.The regulations affecting Lebanon's media were largely legislated through the 1962 Press Law and the 1994 Audiovisual Law.Whether or not the e-transactions law is passed, Ghali cautioned it was more limited in scope with regard to protections for online activity than the media law.However, both Maharat and SKeyes said that the majority of recorded summonses have been for posts or activity referencing politicians, particularly caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil or President Michel Aoun.Ghali agreed that the laws currently being drafted should not be weighted to protect public figures.
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