The government is procuring Internet Safety Solutions (ISS) and will inject a lot more money to promote cyber safety and protect people from online harassment, ministers said on Saturday.
Tarana Halim, of telecoms ministry, and Zunaid Ahmed Palak of ICT ministry said at a bdnews24.com event that money would be no problem in upgrading systems and building regulatory capacity of BTRC.
The two were asked about the cyber security issue during a bdnews24.com roundtable titled ‘Dialogue on Safer Internet’ anchored by its Editor-in-Chief Toufique Imrose Khalidi.
Tarana Halim said she was keen on developing ‘excellent teamwork’ between the two ministries and law enforcing agencies as the key to tackle the rising spate of cyber crimes.
“There is a Computer Incident Response team in BTRC. We respond on email the moment a problem is brought to our notice. In many cases, the IIG (International Internet Gateway) is asked to control the cyber crimes.”
“We are trying to get Internet Safety Solutions or ISS soonest possible,” she said.
But she did not elaborate how the ISS would function in the interest of security.
“Cyber criminals are usually a step ahead of the regulators and law-enforcers. So we don’t want them to know the measures we want to adopt for cyber security,” Tarana Halim said.
Junior ICT minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak assured the roundtable that the present government, with its goal fixed on a Digital Bangladesh, will not be found wanting in investments for ensuring cyber safety.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak
“We are keen to transform our economy from a labour-intensive one to one which is ICT-based. We have drafted a Digital Cyber Security law, we will go in for digital forensic labs, and we will do whatever it takes to make Internet safer.”
He said without digital forensic labs, cyber criminals could not be effectively tracked down.
The discussion was telecast live on Ekattor TV and streaming live on the website.
Telecoms regulator BTRC puts the number of mobile-phone Internet users in Bangladesh at around 46.9 million until June. They consist of 97 percent of the total Internet users.
The number is 10.5 million more than what it was a year ago.
The total number of Internet users was around 48.35 million until June. It is 32 percent of the total population.
BTRC Director General (System and Service) Brig Gen Md Emdad ul Bari said the number of ISPs was limited in the Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), which is used in Bangladesh.
“So a large number of our Internet users don’t use any real IP address. They are given private IP addresses made from the real addresses.
Emdad Ul Bari
“The problem is we can track only the real IP addresses and not in abroad,” he pointed out.
He also alleged that social networking sites were not helping the regulator in this regard.
RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed too said there were problems in tracking the criminals.
He praised the ICT Act. “Anyone can get help under this,” he said.
“But there is no awareness on where to get such kind of help. This is very much disappointing,” he added.
North South University teacher and researcher Nova Ahmed and UNICEF’s communication, advocacy and partnership chief Shima Islam were also in the panel.