Proposed Cyber Security Act to prevent harassment of journalists: Anisul Huq

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq on Thursday, August 10 said the proposed Cyber Security Act (CSA) will be very helpful to prevent harassment of journalists.

The Minister said, “The proposed CSA will be very helpful in checking cybercrimes. Apart from those, the mental pressure that was created among the people because of the Digital Security Act, the panic which was seen while publishing news freely in media, the concerns raised by the journalist community, will also go away.”

While he was addressing a press briefing on abolishing the Digital Security Act and proposed Cyber Security Act at BCC Auditorium on Thursday afternoon, the minister made the statement.

He added that the sternness of punishment in DSA that had created a controversy has been reduced in the proposed Cyber Security Act (CSA) to a great extent. Some non-bailable sections have been made bailable.

The minister further said, “DSA had Section 29 to deal with defamation charges. In the proposed act, the only punishment would be fine, or to suffer jail term of three to six months in default. The maximum punishment in this regard would be an amount of fine of not more than Tk 25 lakh (Tk 2.5 million).”

He pointed out that the changes, which were brought in the act were so many that if the government had stuck with the previous name Digital Security Act, it had to name it as Digital Security Amended Act, which would have been confusing. So government opted for the name Cyber Security Act, 2023. We brought cyber to increase its extent.

On August 07 the cabinet approved in principle the draft of the new act, annulling some stringent provisions like jail terms on defamation charges.

Presided over by State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the briefing was attended by Law and Justice Division Secretary Md Golam Sarwar, Information and Communication Technology Division secretary Md Shamsul Arefin, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division Secretary Md Moinul Kabir and other senior officials of the concerned ministries.

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