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The Moroccan legal system currently lacks laws to deter crimes committed through social media and similar networks, such as spreading fake news and blackmailing.
Law 22-20 will align the national legal system with the international standards adopted in the field of fighting cybercrime, especially after Morocco ratified the Budapest Convention on Information Crime on 29 June 2018.
The new law covers several objectives, including legal protection of digital communication freedom, along with the documentation of the various forms of crimes committed online, especially those affecting public security or presenting harm to individuals.
The law also tackles crimes targeting minors, defines the procedures to address illicit electronic content, and stipulates the sanctions against cybercrime.
However, this bill has sparked a lively debate among Moroccan activists who claim that the bill involves serious attacks on individual and constitutional freedoms. They claim in particular that the bill was adopted without prior consultation and in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
The bill provides, in particular, for sanctioning the use of social networks to conduct campaigns to boycott certain products.
The bill also provides for punishing social media campaigns aimed at calling on the public to withdraw funds deposited with banks.
There are also plans to penalise the publication and sharing of false information intended to cast doubt on the quality and safety of certain products and goods.
The bill provides for the establishment of administrative authorisation for all Internet access providers and content providers.
Following the heated debate over the leaking of this bill, the authorities declared that the initial version of the draft, which was presented to the government council, had not been presented to parliament. Rather, the draft had been submitted to a technical committee to be amended before being resubmitted to parliament.
Written by Jaafar Laidi,
Independent firm Bennani & Associés is well regarded by peers for its transactional and litigation specialisations. Co-founding partner Mehdi M. Bennani leads the practice which provides full-service support on sector-related cases involving advertising and unfair competition law. The team also had in-depth knowledge of copyright law.
Co-managed by Jose Ignacio García Muniozguren, Spanish firm Garrigues has been present in Morocco for over a decade. The firm’s international focus on media, entertainment and sports equips the local practice with a global network of industry experts. Based in Casablanca, Jaafar Laidi is one of the firm’s key practitioners whose detailed knowledge of media law makes the firm a popular choice among clients. His extensive knowledge of legislation is an asset to the team, which works closely with the firm’s office in Tangier.
Gide Loyrette Nouel is well established globally and locally. Co-led by Rémy Fekete and Olivier Cousi, the team assists with a range of matters including audio-visual content, copyright law and print media. The TMT department provides multi-dimensional advice to entertainment and advertising.
Copyright specialist Cabinet Aksiman is one of the country's leading firms for intellectual property matters. Lawyers advise on copyright protection, licensing and the acquisition of rights. Founded in 1982, the firm has an extensive experience advising on a broad range of matters that, contentious and non-contentious. The team also includes experienced litigators.
Managed by Mustapha Mourahib, the team at Clifford Chance predominately works on cross-border cases. The multinational team of lawyers works on multi-sector deals and cases within the TMT industry. Part of an international network, the team is backed by global resources and expertise.
Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy provides full-service advice to local and international clients. Under the leadership of Hicham Naciri the team provides cross border advice to local and multinational clients. The firm is notably active in complex transactional and corporate cases. Key practitioners include Yassir Ghorbal who is an experienced litigator.
Bennani & Associés
Gide Loyrette Nouel
Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy
Norton Rose Fulbright
Saba & Co
Sekkat Law Firm
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