Loopholes of Digital Security Act, 2018

About a few decades ago, people lived only in the real world. But now they are living in another world beyond the real world which is called...

Digital Security Act in Bangladesh, Digital security act Bangla, Digital security act 2018 English version

About a few decades ago, people lived only in the real world. But now they are living in another world beyond the real world which is called the virtual world. ‍

The virtual world has become much more expansive and convincing. As a result, the area of life of the people of Bangladesh has dramatically shifted from real to virtual. Not only that; Various heinous crimes are being committed in the virtual world. 

However, the existing laws of Bangladesh, due to the limitations, are unable to prosecute crimes committed in the virtual world. From there, the need for a digital security law was felt.

I will discuss here the loopholes of the digital security act of Bangladesh.


Loopholes of Digital Security Act, 2018

The widely discussed ordinance (DSA) has come into existence from the formerly known ICT Act, 2006. The digital security act was adopted in October 2018 dropping section 57 of the ICT Act, 2006. 

The Digital Security Act, 2018 was enacted to ensure national data protection and to develop laws related to data crime detection, prevention, suppression, justice, and other issues. For example, stopping fake news through journalists, inciting violence against any person or organization that publishes or transmits any material on a website or electronic media, and controlling crimes committed digitally through social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.

Although the parliament passed the Act to prevent the spread of communal violence through Facebook posts, there is a lot of ambiguity in the definition of the digital security act.

The purpose of the digital security act was all about the crimes and punishment procedures of the virtual world. But the overview of the digital security act 2018 shows a different image in the two and half years of its inception. According to statistical analysis, 197 cases were filed under this act last year and most of those were related to allegations such as 'rude words', 'defamatory statements', 'sharing distorted pictures', and 'conspiracy against the government'.

As a result, the Digital Security Act of Bangladesh faced many criticisms in the past. In criticism of the digital security act 2018, many people said that section 57 morphed into the digital security act. In 2015, the Indian Supreme Court declared almost a similar section of the country's IT act unconstitutional.

Furthermore, the digital security act 2018 and freedom of expression is another issue. Therefore, the editors' council opposed this bill and they expressed their concern as regards 9 sections of the law (8, 21, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 43 and 53). 

Currently, the media has opted for self-censorship for their own security. So they do not present the image of high-ranking officials involved in corruption as in the past. It is expected that there will be a tendency in the future for foreign media to report on Bangladeshi corruption and irregularities. A recent report by Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV on the internal affairs of Bangladesh is noteworthy here.  

Conclusion

We can firmly say that each country must have an IT related act to control the crimes committed in the virtual world. However, the government must ensure that the fundamental rights of the people are not violated.

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