ICT Act to be easy thru’ Digital Security Act, Anisul reiterates

Law Minister Anisul Huq
Law Minister Anisul Huq. Star file photo

The Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, which is said to be a hurdle to the freedom of expression, will be made easy through formulating the Digital Security Act, Law Minister Anisul Huq reiterated today.

The Digital Security Act will be formulated only to remove all confusion and ambiguities of the section, he said.

The law ministry is now vetting the draft of the Digital Security Act, as the cabinet sent it to the law ministry for vetting, he said while talking to reporters during the handover of car keys to some district judges at the Bangladesh Secretariat premises.

The law minister said after finishing the vetting, the government will consult with the stakeholders about Digital Security Act and then will finalise it.      

Law ministry sources said an inter-ministerial meeting was held at the ministry with Law Minister Huq in the chair at his office on May 16 to discuss the Digital Security Act.

State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim and high officials concerned were present at the discussion and they opined that there is a necessity for such a law.   

Earlier on May 3, the law minister told media that Digital Security Act will be formulated removing the confusion and ambiguities of Section 57 of the existing ICT Act, all confusion and ambiguities of the section will be removed.

The cabinet in August last year approved a draft law titled “Digital Security Act 2016” proposing punishment up to life imprisonment for spreading negative propaganda through digital devices against the Liberation War and the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

An offender could also face a fine of Tk 1 crore, instead of life imprisonment, or both for committing the offence and the punishment would be the same for anyone patronising the offender, according to the proposed law.

The draft law, however, doesn't clarify what actions would be taken into consideration as propaganda against the Liberation War and Bangabandhu.