Draft digital cyber crime act almost ready

Forensic laboratory on cards, but punishment for cyber crimes is yet to be decided

The draft Digital Cyber Crime Act, 2015, is almost ready, Mostofa Jabbar, an information and communications expert, told The Independent recently.
The draft Act would be placed for public consultation next month, he disclosed.
Despite several government measures, cyber crimes are going on unabated. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division has observed that as it was very difficult to get nab cyber criminals, imposition of this law was a must.
The Bangladesh Telecom and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) secretary Md Sarwar Alam said united efforts are required and, hence, an initiative has been taken. In accordance with this, a proposal would be sent to Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina towards the end of this month.
Even though the home ministry, the BTRC and law enforcement agencies have different ways of identifying cyber crimes, even so, united efforts are required to get a grip on the situation. That is why the BTRC has spoken to different law enforcement agencies to come up with a central unit to combat cyber crimes.
BTRC itself has a cyber crime response team, but then again, the entire battle against cyber crime is too small, added the BTRC’s secretary.
By the end of the year, the Act will be finalised, and will help in identifying cyber criminals. A forensic laboratory will also be set up, but the punishment for such crimes is yet to be decided, though it is being assumed that it will be quite similar to the International Crimes Tribunal Act, added people involved in making the draft.
Cyber crimes are predicted to double in the near future, and people would be taken for a ride in many different ways, as common people are becoming more and more dependent on technology, pointed out Mostafa Jabbar.
“Cheque forgery is going on now and password will be copied in future. Letters are getting stolen now and e-mails will be lost in future. We have to stop cyber crime now, before it gets out of hand,” he warned.
In 2009, the government took measures to stop cyber crime, with the Digital Bangladesh slogan.
In the recent past, many people have been punished for writing inappropriate items on social media, though it is really difficult for BTRC to stop all such things, as it does not have any agreement with Facebook and/or Twitter.
There was an attack in 2012 on the Buddhist community following the tagging of a picture on Facebook. Before that, in 2010, Facebook was shut down for three days as inappropriate language was used against Prophet Mohammad (SM) and the Prime Minister. After the incidents, the government had asked for the details of such Facebook account holders from Facebook’s management several times, but in vain. But BTRC gave its assurance that if cohesive efforts are made, then it would be really easy to nab such cyber criminals.
At the beginning of the year, the government has taken control over many types of apps, such as Skype, Viber, Line, Tango and other OTT apps, but, according to Jabbar, a comprehensive initiative is necessary to eradicate cyber crime. After public consultation and vetting from the ministry, the draft would soon become a law, and it would become really easy to nab cyber criminals.
The post and telecommunications ministry has added that the law would be flexible enough, so that it can be changed in accordance with the needs of the hour.