The BTRC shut down 58 news portals based in Bangladesh for hours due to 'security concerns'
The hours-long restriction on 58 Bangladeshi news portals was a “trial run,” Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said on Monday.
Claiming that some of those 58 news portals were circulating propaganda and fake news reports, Inu told the Dhaka Tribune over phone that the move was taken on a trial basis.
“Similar shutdowns will continue against news portals that publish and circulate fake and baseless news reports,” the minister warned.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission reopened the news portals hours after access to those were restricted by the telecom regulator due to “national security” concerns on Monday.
BTRC Senior Assistant Director (media and communication wing) Md Zakir Hossain Khan told the Dhaka Tribune that they, as the technical authority, unblocked the portals around 5pm.
The development took place following an order from BTRC acting chairman Md Jahurul Haque, Zakir said.
Earlier in the day, the BTRC official told the Dhaka Tribune that they blocked the news portals after the authorities concerned asked them to do so for the sake of “national security.” The regulator, however, did not elaborate the reasons.
The regulatory body on Sunday sent letters to international internet gateway (IIG) operators and internet service providers (ISP) to restrict access to these news sites.
“We gave the order based on recommendations from the government and law enforcement agencies,” Zakir told UNB.