Security Law

Introduction:

With over 4 billion people online 1, the internet has reshaped how we do business, communicate and conduct governance

2. As the digital economy evolves, digital security has taken on a distinct urgency. Governments face a complex array of cyber-security threats with the potential to significantly damage economic growth and infrastructure critical to essential services

3. This is especially true for countries in Asia, where unlike the West, internet expansion has risen amidst the internet revolution

4. Keen to leverage the benefits of the digital economy while preserving national security in a post-internet world, Asian states tend to adopt policies that are protectionist and less aligned with international standards

5. Bangladesh leads the world in percentage of mobile malware ─░nfections

Bangladesh is home to 87 million internet subscribers, accounting for approximately 53% of its entire population48 . In 2016, Bangladesh was ranked 112 out of 139 nations on a Network Readiness Index according to a World Economic Forum report49 , while also performing poorly in the Global Cyber security Index in 201550 . The contemporaneous legal framework, i.e. the Information Communication Technology Act of 200651 , was largely held to be insufficient in terms of addressing digital security and data protection concerns52 . Consequently, Bangladesh has taken steps to improve its digital security framework through its e-governance project53 and "Digital Bangladesh"54 vision. Further, the government formulated a National Cyber security Strategy55 , charting a vision for cyber-security till 2021.

Bangladesh enacted the Digital Security Act56 in September 2018. Passed with the objective of curbing cyber-crime and ensuring digital security, the Digital Security Act creates a wide range of cyber-crime offences57 . These provide punishment for "propaganda or campaign against the Liberation War, the Father of the Nation"58 , posting offensive content59 , cyber-terrorism60 and defamation61 , amongst others. Significantly, it has extra-territorial application62 . It also establishes a "Digital Security Agency"63 , empowered to regulate content and request the Bangladesh telecom regulator remove/block the same64 .

Significantly, the Digital Security Act provides safe harbour protection for intermediaries 65, and penalizes illegal use of "identity information" 66.

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