BTRC keeping eye on offensive content

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) continues to monitor what it describes as offensive blogs and Facebook pages, based on allegations of spreading religious hatred.

“The offensive Facebook pages and blogs are being shut down every day as per law,” BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose told bdnews24.com on Saturday.

He said the closure was being done following recommendations of the law enforcing agencies and top brass of the government.

Asked about the number of such closures in the recent time, the telecom regulatory chief said, “It is a continuous process. New blogs and pages are reopened once they are closed.”

“We are keeping an eye on such pages and taking action accordingly,” he said.

The BTRC closed 12 blogs and Facebook pages, including ‘Sonar Bangla’ and ‘Basher Kella’, reportedly run by people tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing over the last few days.

Daily Amar Desh, run by Mahmudur Rahman, a former advisor to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, on Saturday published a report saying readers were facing troubles in reading its online edition.

The report also alleged the internet providers were intentionally creating those troubles following directives from the BTRC.

But Bose refuted the allegations. “The BTRC never does such things,” he said adding, “It could be a technical glitch.”

Speaking to press on Feb 28, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu alleged the daily Amar Desh, Daily Naya Diganta and Daily Sangram had started ‘militant journalism’ following the Shahbagh demonstration.

The BTRC formed a security response team on Jan 25 last year and launched a special drive to thwart cyber crimes to ensure national security.

The team started inviting complaints and suggestions on its email contact@csirt.gov.bd to thwart cyber crime, starting Apr 22.

The team investigates immediately after receiving any complaint and takes punitive action measuring the importance of the incident.

The government on May 29, 2010 temporarily blocked access to Facebook following the arrest of a youth for uploading satiric images of some leading politicians including the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The popular social networking website was, however, allowed viewing later.

Source: bdnews24

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