The Cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of ‘The Digital Security Bill, 2016’ with a provision for maximum life term jail and Tk 1 crore fine for carrying out propaganda against the Liberation War and Bangabandhu or patronising propaganda on electronic media, agencies report.
The approval was given at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the aim of the new law is to check cyber crimes.
“As per the proposed law, if anybody conducts propaganda against the War of Liberation and its spirit, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman or the Liberation War issues, which have already been already settled by court, through electronic media, he or she will suffer maximum life-term jail and minimum three years’ imprisonment and the highest Tk one crore fine or both,” he said.
According to the proposed law, Shafiul Alam said, if anybody carries out any attack or hacks important information infrastructure like Biman Cyber Management, he or she will have to serve maximum 14 years’ and minimum two years’ jail or Tk one crore fine or both.
As per the proposed law, Alam said, there is a provision of maximum 14 years’ and minimum two years’ jail term and the highest Tk one crore fine or both for cyber terrorism. He said the matters that will affect the unity and solidarity of Bangladesh and hinder the security of other countries and the issues that are linked to terrorist acts and assist or allure to carry out terrorist activities will be considered as cyber terrorism.
Regarding the crimes carried out using computer, mobile or any digital device, the cabinet secretary said, the offenders will get maximum five years’ and minimum two years’ of imprisonment and be fined Tk three lakh or both.
Besides, any one cheating or making forgery through using computer, mobile or any other electronic device will get maximum five years’ and minimum three years’ jail and be fined Tk three lakh or both.
Shafiul Alam said the proposed law has a provision for two years’ jail and Tk two lakh fine or both for violating privacy, highest 10 years’ and minimum two years’ imprisonment or Tk 10 lakh as fine for pornography, highest two years’ and minimum two months’ jail and Tk two lakh as fine or both for hurting the religious sentiment and maximum 7 years and minimum one year’s jail and Tk seven lakh as fine or both for creating enmity and deteriorating law and order.
He said the draft law has proposed constituting a ‘Digital Security Agency’ to be headed by the director general.
About the administrative structure of the agency, Alam said, the director general, who will be appointed by the government, could give directives to any law enforcement agency of the government to stop broadcasting of any information through computer resources if the DG deems it urgent.
“If necessary, the director general could stop any transmission immediately,” he said, adding that the DG will have power to give a prohibitive order for possible violation. The Cabinet meeting also approved in principle the drafts of The Hindu Religion Welfare Trust Bill, 2016, The Buddhist Religion Welfare Trust Bill, 2016 and The Christian Religion Welfare Trust Bill, 2016.
Ministers and state ministers and secretaries concerned were present at the meeting.