Saturday, September 22, 2018 | ePaper

BREAKING NEWS:

Digital Security Act Bill placed in JS without amendments

  • Print
DESPITE our repeated plea and penning about the issue - the much controversial Digital Security Bill-2018 was placed in the Parliament on Monday night by Telecom and ICT Minister. The proposed law was then sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry concerned for scrutinizing. The committee is expected to submit a report on the Bill in about four week's time.
Not surprisingly, the Bill is placed exactly a week after the Indian Prime Minister's order to withdraw of rules to punish journalists for distributing fake news in India. However, given the abundance of writings, analysis and risk factors provided by numerous scholars, law experts and journalists, in reality, there is hardly any point left of the controversial Bill which is in need of careful scrutiny. Even the growing concern of locally stationed diplomats was not taken into serious consideration.
Most importantly, the government on several occasions said Section 57 of the ICT Act would be removed that deals with defamation, hurting religious sentiments, causing deterioration of law and order and instigating against any person or organisation through publishing or transmitting any material in websites or in electronic form. They were not removed from the proposed Draft Law.
However, the ball to get the bill passed is now in the court of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, and we can only hope the standing committee to apply the best of its senses and logic to amend the controversial sections. In fact, the standing committee can also take helpful advice while scrutinising it by incorporating all stakeholders.
Our point is, we all agree that the law should be carefully framed so that privacy of critical and sensitive data is properly maintained without jeopardizing the freedom of expression. In justifying the draft DSA the new ICT Minister has reminded us that journalists have 'conditional freedom' and 'violating privacy is unacceptable' - two more obscure terms.
While there is little to dispute the fact that no freedom can be unrestrained, we should once more remind that such restraints should be clear, logical and proportionate, which the provisions of the DSA greatly deviate from, and urge the standing committee that the laws in proposed Act should be considered from a constitutional and international law standpoint, otherwise it would only get passed as a 'Digital Insecurity Act' to suppress freedom of speech in Bangladesh.


More News For this Category

About bank loan defaulters : Is Finance Minister unable to keep his promise?

IN the mid April of this year, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told the National Parliament that the government would consider publishing the names, addresses and identities of the bank loan

Rohingya crisis: UN is helpless without active cooperation of int'l community

THE United Nations was established with a mission to stop brutality and promotion of human rights across the globe but at present is apparently helpless to stop the Myanmar military

Neutralizing gender imbalances

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :Subordination of women is the precursor of women's crisis and is a continuing matter in the courses of history all over the globe since the inception

Deepening dispute between the US and Turkey

Rayhan Ahmed Topader :Brunson has been held in Turkey since 2016, accused of helping to plot a coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The North Carolina native's case has

True leadership is about being true to yourself

Sallyann Della Casa :Congruency is when what you say and what you do are aligned. As an example, my leadership is often controversial (or feather ruffling). I am always thinking

Readers’ Forum

Risk of cardiovascular diseasesAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 1.4 billion people in the world are at high risk of cardiovascular diseases because they do not

No progress yet in bringing looted money from Philippines

AROUND three years has passed since the cyber criminals looted US$101 million from Bangladesh Bank reserve, but the looted money is not yet recovered except some fruitless efforts by the

Ecological danger for destroying forest by Rohingyas

A STUDY has revealed that 4,300 acres of hills and forests have been razed in Cox's Bazar to set up refugee camps and cooking fuel for Rohingyas who fled ethnic

Misgoverance slows growth

Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque and Dr. M Abul Kashem Mozumder :Reports are plenty mentioning the tremendous growth of tycoons. This is not a good sign. It goes against resilient economic

Support teachers in meeting professional needs

The European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) organises a public event on in Brussels, Belgium, on 19 September. ETUCE represents 132 Education Trade unions in 51 countries, in total