After some investigation with @shinmimlam website blocking, we want to share in this thread what we have so far:
The @MOT_LB has ordered the blocking of http://shinmimlam.com - a platform that collects information about businesses in Lebanon from the public registry.This information can support research and advocacy that holds corporations, governments and other power-holders accountable.
The MoT ordered the blocking based on a referral from a judge. According to sources, lawyers approached the court claiming the website has breached the privacy of the lawyers and their clients.
Sources say the complaint concerns a tool available on the website, which allows users to filter data by the lawyer nominated on each companies’ register entry. Users can then view the connections between each lawyer and the companies on the registry.
The information on http://shinmimlam.com is already available in the public domain. It is contained in a public national trade register as per Chapter 3 of the Commerce Code. This therefore cannot be seen as a breach of privacy, and is not grounds to block the website.
Despite reaching out to many contacts, we couldn't obtain access to the original order by the judge, nor to the application. It is still unclear which law empowered the judge to make such a decision.
The continued lack of transparency from the judiciary regarding website blocking is unjustifiable.
We condemn the arbitrary blocking of http://shinmimlam.com and call on authorities to restore access immediately.