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Move to amend DSA

Steps to frame rules to stop misuse


Published : 26 Mar 2022 09:56 PM | Updated : 27 Mar 2022 01:32 PM

The authorities concerned are taking steps to amend the Digital Security Act (DSA) formulated in October 2018 to contain cybercrimes.

Steps have been taken to stop the abuse and misuse of this law and the authorities concerned are thinking to frame rules to check the abuse.  

A six-member committee, headed by secretary of the Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division of the law ministry, was formed to look into the issue. Representatives from several other ministries, including home ministry and ICT ministry, were also included in the team.

An official of the law ministry said the team is working with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) office to find out whether human rights are being violated due to the enforcement of the law. If the team finds any inconsistency, necessary steps will be taken to rectify the DSA. 

However, the government has already formed a monitoring cell to inquire before the filing of any case under the Digital Security Act. Case filed under the DSA should be sent to the monitoring cell to judge the merit of the case before any arrest is made. If the complaint is found substantial, only then, the case will go to court, said official of the law ministry. 

Since the enactment of the law, it has invited a lot of criticism at home and abroad. Journalists, human rights advocates, political activists, civil society members and international community have termed the law ‘draconian’. They have been saying that the law has been grossly misused and abused. 

Civil society members called for abolition of the Digital Security Act. Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (SHUJAN) secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar said that the DSA should be abolished.  

Admitting some misuses and abuses in implementing the Digital Security Act, Law Minister Anisul Huq recently said the government would amend the law if any inconsistency is found. The law will be amended slightly in order to prevent misuses and abuses and to implement it properly.  

After the enactment of the law, the government on several occasions said that no Digital Security Act provision would be used to limit the freedom of expression.

The law empowers law enforcement authorities to arrest people without a warrant solely on suspicion of committing a crime through the use of mass media.

Civil Society members said that the law needs to be revoked and new laws should be formulated instead. 

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