The Digital Security Bill, 2018, aiming to deal with cybercrimes, including hurting the religious sentiment, negative propaganda against the Liberation War and the Father of Nation, and illegal activities in e-transactions and spreading defamatory data, was placed in the Parliament on Monday.
Post, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar placed the Bill in the House and it was 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 cognizable and non-bailable offences.
As per the bill, digital forensic labs, and a digital security agency under the Prime Minister’s Office will be set up, while a national computer emergency response team and an 11-member digital security council, headed by the prime minister, will be constituted.
According to the proposed law, anyone who uses digital media to spread negative propaganda against the Liberation War or Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will risk being sentenced to maximum 14 years’ jail, Tk1 crore fine, or both.
If the offence is committed by the same person, for the second time or more, the punishment will be lifetime imprisonment, Tk3 crore fine, or both.
The punishment for illegal access to critical information infrastructure (CII) is maximum seven years’ imprisonment, maximum Tk25 lakh fine, or both, while that for damaging the CII through illegal access is a maximum of 14 years’ imprisonment, Tk1 crore fine, or both.
The punishment for resorting to cyber violence which jeopardizes the integrity, security, or sovereignty of the state, intimidates the people or any section of people, impedes legitimized access to computers, computer networks or the internet is maximum 14 years’ imprisonment or maximum Tk1 crore fine or both.
The punishment for hurting religious values and sentiment is maximum 10 years’ imprisonment or Tk20 lakh fine or both.
The punishment for providing or spreading defamatory data is a maximum jail sentence of three years or maximum fine of Tk500,000 or both, while that for destroying communal harmony is maximum seven years’ imprisonment, Tk500,000 fine or both.
The punishment for illegal activities using e-transaction services of banks, insurance companies, financial institutions, and other organizations is maximum five years’ imprisonment, Tk500,000 fine or both.
The punishment for resorting to cyber hacking is maximum 14 years’ imprisonment or Tk1 crore fine or both.
Resorting to digital theft by capturing any confidential information of government and semi-government, autonomous and statutory bodies through illegal access is a cognizable offence.
The offences under sections 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34 of the proposed laws are cognizable and non-bailable, while the offences under sections 20, 25, 29 and 48 are bailable ones.