To tackle cyber crime the government has drafted Digital Security Act with the provision of a maximum punishment of 14 years in jail for offenders.Earlier, an inter-ministerial meeting was held at the Ministry to discuss the provisions of the newly-prepared Digital Security Act with the Minister in the chair.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Secretaries of the relevant Ministries and Divisions and senior officials concerned attended the meeting.
After the meeting, Anisul Huq said that the meeting agreed to remove Section 54 to 57 of the existing ICT act to eliminate the controversies over the provisions of the act. At the same time, it also decided to incorporate the updated provisions in the Digital Security Act.
“Cyber crimes will be the most significant offence in the coming days. The new law will help the government to tackle such offences in the country,” he said and added, “The law keeps a provision of formation of a committee headed by the prime minister.”
Incidents of cyber crimes in Bangladesh are rising as the country’s internet penetration is increasing. The ICT Act addresses the issue, but has also attracted criticism, especially its Section 57, which critics say effectively muzzles the freedom of speech and expression.
Section 57 of the law criminalises ‘publishing fake, obscene or defaming information in electronic forum.
The offence under this provision of the ICT Act is punishable by at least seven years in prison and 14 years imprisonment at the most. Fine can be imposed as high as Tk 1 crore.
The law was passed in 2006 and amended twice in 2009 and 2013. In the last amendment, offence under Section 57 was made non-bailable and penalty was extended to 14 years in jail.
After the meeting, State Minister Palak said the law will address the issues in a ‘clearer manner.’ The offences stipulated in Section 57 of ICT Act are defined more precisely in the new law.
The proposed law also allows the setting up of a digital forensic laboratory, he added.
Check the Act below :