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Laws which protect

  • Published at 12:01 am April 2nd, 2019
Cyber Security
Photo: BIGSTOCK

There is nothing we would like more than a safe and secure internet for all citizens

The biggest promise behind laws such as the ICT Act was that they would make the internet a safer place for all users in the country.

We applaud the ruling party for staying true to its vision of building a Digital Bangladesh -- not limited to increasing the availability of internet throughout the nation -- but the heavy-handed approach it has taken when it comes to cyber laws has always been a bone of contention.

If keeping citizens safe from cyber crimes were indeed the true motive behind these laws, the administration has failed in keeping its promise with aplomb.

While there is still a lot of doubt surrounding legal provisions such as the Digital Security Act and Section 57, what is clear as day is that they have failed to curb the scourge of cyber crimes in our country.

The DSA has long been criticized for its draconian nature, which has the potential to hamper the press from carrying out honest journalism while also leaving a tremendous amount of scope for misuse and exploitation, despite assurances to the contrary.

But why are there so few examples of these laws working as they were intended to be?

Section 57 deals with defamation, hurting religious sentiments, causing deterioration of law and order, and instigating against any person or organization through publishing or transmitting any material in websites or in electronic form.

Given the fact that the most common offense in cyber crimes is an individual having his or her private information leaked without consent, and that a majority of offenders are never brought to book, it is clear that these laws, in their current form, do not work.

There is nothing we would like more than a safe and secure internet for all citizens, but any laws formed to that end need to be sensible and leave no scope for exploitation.