Digital Security Act 2018: The way they view it
03:00 AM, September 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:20 AM, September 20, 2018

The way they view it

This law will hurt the media, democracy and freedom of expression. Citizens and the media will be victimised. Fundamental rights will be curtailed. A sense of fear will grow among people. And the rights guaranteed by the constitution will be curbed. We are moving towards a bad time.

KHANDAKAR MONIRUZZAMAN

ACTING EDITOR OF THE DAILY SANGBAD

 



The act goes against the spirit of the Liberation War. Independent journalism will be under threat in the coming days. We thought the government would accept our [Sampadak Parishad's] suggestions for the sake of independent journalism, freedom of expression and free thinking, but it did not.

 

NAEM NIZAM

EDITOR OF BANGLADESH PRATIDIN

Due to the inclusion of Official Secrets Act provisions, this law will not only curb freedom of expression but also undermine the objectives of the Right to Information Act.  It will increase the fear created by Section 57. As a result, people will go into further self-censorship. 

 

JYOTIRMOY BARUA

SC LAWYER WORKING ON HUMAN RIGHTS

 

There is a need for a law to check digital crimes. We feel digital media has to have freedom. However, sometimes we see abuse of press freedom. I hope the law would only be used against digital crimes and would not infringe on freedom of expression.

 

IQBAL SOHBAN CHOWDHURY

EDITOR OF THE DAILY OBSERVER

 

It is very regrettable and we are shocked. The concerns expressed by the Sampadak Parishad (Editors' Council) were not addressed. With regard to the act, we stick to our previous stance. We will decide on the next course of action at a meeting of the Editors' Council.

 

SHYAMAL DUTTA

EDITOR OF BHORER KAGOJ 

 

It's a sad day for freedom of expression and independent journalism and as such for democracy. This law is incongruent with the intellectual environment of digital age. The growth of digital Bangladesh will be stifled by this Digital Security Act.

 

MAHFUZ ANAM

GENERAL SECRETARY OF 

SAMPADAK PARISHAD AND EDITOR 

AND PUBLISHER OF THE DAILY STAR

 

We are saddened and aggrieved. The government hurriedly passed the law, totally ignoring the opinions of Sampadak Parishad, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and Association of Television Channel Owners. … We fear that independent journalism and freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution will be curbed.

 



SYED ISHTIAQUE REZA, VICE PRESIDENT

OF BFUJ AND EDITOR IN CHIEF OF GAZI TV

 

We've raised our objections [to the law] with reasons. Yet if our voice remains unheard and a law is passed without taking into consideration people's opinion, they are not passing the law as the people's representatives ...  This is not the norms of parliamentary democracy. 

 

SULTANA KAMAL, RIGHTS ACTIVIST 

Human rights must be pre-eminent and should be the topmost priority. Human rights mean the highest welfare of the citizens. Therefore, the security of the state means the security of its citizens. So whatever curbs people's freedom of thought in the name of state security cannot be acceptable. 

 

PROF MIZANUR RAHMAN

FORMER CHAIRMAN OF NHRC

 

There were concerns about the draft Digital Security Act. However, those were not taken into consideration while passing the bill. This reflects authoritarian rule and the mentality of bypassing public opinion... 

 

NUR KHAN LITON

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST 

 

We had registered our reservations about the act, and most of our points have been addressed. This act will not curb the journalists' right to get information. It has been formulated to check the anarchy on the digital platform.

 

Mozammel Babu

senior vice-president of ATCO 

 

There is a necessity for the act, but there are chances of misuse of certain sections of the law, which may disrupt the free flow of information. We have observed misuse of Section 57 of the ICT Act by the law enforcers. 

 

Golam Rahman

former chief information commissioner

 

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