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Cyber criminal to get maximum 20 yrs imprisonment, draft says

Publish On : 06/07/2015

Staff Correspondent: 

A person committing cyber crime in Bangladesh affecting national security could be sentenced up to 14 years' imprisonment or fined up to Tk 1 crore, or both, says Cyber Security Act (draft) 2015.

Committing online crime with its effect in another country would be considered cyber terrorism. Maximum 20 years of imprisonment set for committing 'cyber crime' and law enforcers are empowered to arrest suspects without issuance of any warrants, the draft said.

However, the government formed a review committee to scrutiny the proposed draft of the Cyber Security Act, 2015.

Shyam Sunder Sikder, ICT division secretary, was made the head of the committee and ICT expert Mostafa Jabbar the member secretary. The e committee will include lawyers, journalists and members of different trade bodies and law enforcement personnel.

The decision came in a discussion meeting at the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Division office on Sunday. 

The review committee was formed by State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak after meeting with concerned stakeholders. The draft law was prepared by Prof Zulfiqar Ahmed,  Rajshahi University's Law department faculty.

Palak said that the government planned to complete all the work on the draft law before August and the government aims to secure banking and financial sectors from cyber crime as soon as possible.

According to the proposed draft law, the Law enforcers can seize any electronic device from anywhere if they suspect that was used in a cyber crime.

The draft suggested a minimum five years of jail for those who erase or distort someone else's data or send electronic messages with false information to deceive a person.

Taking photograph of others secretly and publishing them without permission would be considered a cyber crime with a provision for imprisonment of up to 10 years.

The draft law also has a provision for setting up a 'National Internet (Cyber) Security Organisation' for protecting Bangladesh's sovereignty, security and integrity, and friendship with foreign countries and others.

Industrial leaders in the meeting claimed that the government only wanted to formulate the law to control the social media and bloggers and said that the law must be re-written for with provisions for cyber security in all sectors.

Mostafa Jabbar, the member secretary of the review committee and former president of 'Bangladesh Computer Samity', said the draft was incomplete and there were many ways to misuse it.

"Many parts of the draft law could also be criticized from the perspective of human rights," he claimed.

Prof Mohammad Kaykobad of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology said, "Bangladesh needs to formulate such a law which will protect our people and give them a secured cyber world."

Experts in the meeting said that there were many repetitions between the draft law and the Information Technology and Communication Act, 2006 and They called for amending the act. They also claimed that the law must follow international standards.

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