By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 28 February 2015:
The Libyan Post and Telecommunications Information Company (LPTIC) says that it and its subsidiaries do . . .[restrict]not block any websites within Libya without a legal order and abide by data protection laws. It strongly denounces blocking of sites.
The LPTIC is the holding company that controls all of Libya’s seven state-dominated ITC companies: Libyana, LTT, Hatif Libya, Al-Madar, Al-Jeel Al-Jadeed, LITC and Bareed Libya.
In a statement sent by the chairman to Libya Herald, the LPTIC said that it ‘’had received numerous complaints and enquiries regarding the deliberate blocking of media and news websites from within Libya’’.
The holding company and its subsidiaries are ‘’committed to the data protection laws without fail and to presenting its services to all without exception within the relevant existing Libyan laws’’, it added.
The LPTIC and its subsidiaries ‘’do not block any website without a legal order or by virtue of a law’’, the statement stressed.
However, and with ‘’full apology, after the control of a group outside the law of the main LPTIC website, and after the group had sent a series of false communications and decisions implying that it was the real management of the holding company and as the result of this irresponsible and illegal act was the blocking of some media and news websites’’.
‘’The management of the holding company strongly denounces this act considering it a clear and open violation of the freedom of the press and freedom of expression and of the opposing view’’, the statement concluded.
The statement by the LPTIC is the first official confirmation of the allegation that some news websites expressing the opposite views to the GNC-Libya Dawn Tripoli government had been blocked by the state telecoms company.
It was alleged that the anti GNC-Libya Dawn news website Alwasat and the pro House of Representatives/Abdullah Thinni LANA official state news agency were experiencing blocking.
Libya Herald had contacted a number of people within Tripoli for a straw test at the time regarding the blocking allegation. However, about half those that replied reported that they could not access the news websites, whilst others had reported that they were able to gain access.
It will be recalled that the Libyan state LPTIC has an almost complete monopoly and control over telecoms within Libya, including access to the wide world internet.
It will also be recalled that the chairman of LPTIC, Faisel Gergab, who is running the company remotely from abroad, has maintained that his company’s Tripoli HQ was forcibly taken over by an armed group.
However, a highly placed source at the company had denied that it had been seized by armed groups. [/restrict]