TIB calls for overhauling Digital Security Act
Voicing concern over the recently passed ‘Digital Security Bill’ which what it said is contradictory to the liberation war spirit and the constitution, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has demanded that the government overhaul the entire law, including removal of the retrograde sections, reports UNB.
TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman made the demand in a statement on Tuesday.
Although the discussion with the Sampadak Parishad (Editors’ Council) over the act and the announcement to place the issue before the cabinet is somewhat relaxing, concern remains there as to how much it will sort out the sense of insecurity created among all parties – i.e. common people, he said in the statement.
“We want to believe that the announcement to place the concerns of the Sampadak Parishad before the cabinet is a positive step. But after passing the bill in parliament in an unusual hurry ignoring grave concerns and specific suggestions of the stakeholders, the hint to settle the dispute through discussion has made us more worried,” Iftekharuzzaman said.
He said there are so many retrograde sections in the act which go against the liberation war spirit and the constitution that any partial change will not address the sense of insecurity. “There’s no alternative to overhauling the act after revoking those sections that create obstacle to freedom of speech, freedom of expression and scope of misusing the law in the absence of accountability,” he said.
The TIB chief expressed the hope that the government will take initiatives to overhaul the act after cancelling its ‘controversial’ sections by showing respects to the liberation war spirit and democratic values.
The much-talked-about ‘The Digital Security Bill, 2018’ was passed in parliament on 19 September, aiming to deal with cybercrimes, including hurting the religious sentiment, negative propaganda against the liberation war and Bangabandhu, and illegal activities in e-transactions and spreading defamatory data.