Mentioning that there is still scope for discussion over the proposed Digital Security Act, Law Minister Anisul Huq said a subsection would be inserted into the draft law's Section 32 if needed.
"A subsection will be incorporated in Section 32 of the act if during discussions it seems that it is hampering the freedom of expression," the law minister said on Tuesday while speaking to reporters after inaugurating a training course for district and sessions judges and equivalent judicial officials at the Judicial Administration Training Institute in Dhaka.
According to Section 32 of the proposed law, resorting to digital theft by capturing any confidential information of government and semi-government, autonomous and statutory bodies by using computers, computer networks, digital networks, or any other electronic devices through illegal access is a cognisable offence.
The minister said there would be an elaborate discussion on the proposed law at the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which was the right place for such talks. “The scope of discussions has opened up with the placing of the bill in parliament,” he said.
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Earlier on February 6, during a meet-the-press event at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity, the minister said Section 32 had not been formulated targeting journalists. “A sub-section will be included, if necessary, to protect journalists,” he had said.
The Digital Security Bill, 2018, aiming to deal with cybercrimes, including hurting religious sentiments, negative propaganda against the Liberation War and the father of nation, and illegal activities in e-transactions and spreading defamatory information, was placed in parliament on Monday.
The bill was later sent to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committee for scrutiny. The committee was asked to submit its report within four weeks.
Many crimes mentioned in the proposed law have been made cognisable and non-bailable offences.