The amendments to the Law of Georgia on Information Security initiated in October 2019 became the subject of criticism of the representatives of civil society, private sector as well as the experts in the field. IDFI was actively involved in the process of reviewing the bill and examining the risks associated with the amendments. Back in November of last year, IDFI published considerations associated with the bill.
Due to the disagreements with stakeholders on principal issues, the adoption of legislative amendments was first delayed in June 2020. The draft law was returned to the mode of the second reading from the stage of the final hearing.
Significantly modified version of the draft amendments was resubmitted to the Parliament and carried through the second reading stage in September 2020. It should be noted that the draft amendments were introduced to the Parliament in the mode of the third reading in frames of the Plenary sittings of September 15-18, however, the amendments were not proposed for voting. Voting on the draft law was also planned through the last plenary sitting of the Parliament of the 9th convocation on September 30, though the draft law of the initiated and discussed amendments was not put to the vote by the Parliament even within the frames of the conclusive plenary sitting.
What awaits to the draft law in the conditions of the newly convened Parliament?
Following the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Georgia, in case newly convened Parliament considers expediency of continuing consideration of draft laws, which were initiated in the Parliament of the previous convocation. In case the Parliament does not make a relevant decision on the continuation of the consideration procedure, the draft law will be considered exempted from the Parliament. If the procedure for consideration of the draft law is not continued, there is a chance that the newly convened Parliament will start working to initiate new amendments to the Law on Information Security.
IDFI welcomes the fact that the Parliament of Georgia did not pass the Draft law on the amendments to the Law on Information Security in the third reading that lives space for its additional substantive review. It is noteworthy that IDFI has studied in detail the changes envisaged under the bill, the challenges facing the country and the best international practices, on the basis of which the relevant recommendations have been elaborated. The organization presented its policy paper and recommendations through the online conference on September 22nd.
IDFI states that, given the challenges of the Draft Amendments to the Law of Georgia on Information Security, it is necessary for the Parliament of the 10th convocation to consider the possibility of developing a new version of the amendments. The Institute hopes that, first of all, the country's national cybersecurity strategy will be approved, on the basis of which further cybersecurity reform will be implemented.
To this end, it is important that the next convocation of Parliament resumes work on the new amendments to the Law on Information Security and ensures broad involvement in the process of elaboration of the draft law.
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