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Justice Ministry to Fight Electronic Crime on Social Media Sites

Pro-regime newspaper reports on moves by Syria's justice ministry to train specialists to combat and prosecute offenders on social media sites like Facebook, claiming the country saw a rise in incidents of "electronic crime" since 2012
Justice Ministry to Fight Electronic Crime on Social Media Sites

Syria’s Justice Minister Najim Hamad al-Ahmed revealed that the ministry intends to form special courts to fight the spread of electronic crime. He said that part of the war declared against Syria has the aim of inciting terrorist acts, in addition to the appearance of new and unusual electronic crimes.

In a statement at the opening of a special workshop to train the judiciary on electronic crime, in cooperation with the Communications Ministry, Ahmed stressed the need to bolster the judiciary’s legal skills and benefit from the digital resources in fighting these crimes.

For his part, the communications and technology minister, Ali al-Zafir, said in his speech that the courses to train the judiciary included legislative and digital aspects and said that the training would begin on how to gather evidence and investigate crimes, including ways to find their source in order to prosecute offenders in court.

The assistant justice minister, Taysir al-Samadi, said that crimes had occurred over social media, adding: The training of the judiciary will address fighting digital crime, and it is well-known that this issue has accompanied the current digital revolution.

In statements to Al-Watan, Samadi said that there had been an increase in electronic crimes in the country as a result of the increase of the number of users of social media sites, especially since it was known that in every house there was now an internet connection. He added: The judiciary will be trained on pursuing crimes on Facebook with a special mechanism developed to fight these offences.

He stressed the need to train the judiciary on ways to uncover these crimes and how to investigate them and to preserve evidence. He added that this matter will be done in cooperation with the communications ministry.

Samadi said that the courts would be specialized with a view to digital crimes and that there would be specialized judges and training for interested members of the judiciary.

The judge said that the ministry had not delayed this program, but that there had been adequate preparations with the Communications Ministry, adding that good groundwork would produce good results.

Samadi pointed out that although there was a specialized law for electronic crimes issued in 2012, the crisis had contributed to the development of a number of laws, including the law concerned with fighting electronic crime.

The general manager for the National Commission for Network Services, Fadia Suleiman, said that a branch to fight electronic crime had been established in the Interior Ministry in accordance with the 2012 law.

In statements to Al-Watan, Suleiman said that after these initial steps were taken, the Justice Ministry is now working on establishing special courts for this type of crime, given its increase.

Regarding social media sites, Suleiman said that it was hard to run any type of monitoring on them, indicating that it was hard to find related digital evidence as there is currently no infrastructure for that.

Suleiman added that social media services such as Facebook and Twitter and others are an application the user obtains from a service provider outside the country. She added that electronic crimes could cover news sites and sites which you could obtain digital evidence about.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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