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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 276
June 30, 2012

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Cyber crime: Implementation must to achieve vison 2021

Mahdy Hassan

Photo: tonyocruz.com

There are adequate laws concerning cyber crime in Bangladesh but there is no efficient implementation. Some laws relating cyber crime are Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006, the Penal Code, 1860, the Pornography Act, 2012, and the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001. Cybercrimes in essence are dealt with the Information & Communication Technology Act 2006 in Bangladesh. The Key themes of the Act are digital signature and electronic record, types of offence and penalties, and formation of cybercrime tribunal and cyber appellate tribunal. Some relevant provisions of the CrPC are related with this crime. There are some Cybercrime prevention agencies like The BTRC has created an 11 member Bangladesh Computer Security Incident Response Team (BD-CSIRT) in January of this year to curb cybercrimes. It will mark websites with contents that could spread social, political, religious or national hatred and RAB has a cybercrime prevention unit. Section 54 to 67 of the ICT Act 2006 illustrate the cybercrimes both civil and criminal matters. The followings shall be treated as crime; Unauthorized copying, extracting and downloading of any data, database; Introduction of virus; Damage and disruption to computer system and computer network; Denial of access to authorized person to computer; Providing assistance to make possible to commit to crime; Hacking with computer system; Tampering computer source documents; Electronic forger for the purpose of cheating and harming reputation; Using a forged Electronic record; Publication of digital signature certificate for the fraudulent purpose; Confiscation of computer, network etc; Publication of information which is obscene in electronic form; Misrepresentation and suppressing material facts for obtaining digital signature certificate; Breach of confidentiality and privacy; Publishing false digital signature certificate.

But still now there are some problems in the existing measures like our inadequate legal tool. Though the ICT Act 2006 talked about creating a cyber tribunal and cyber appellate tribunal but we are yet to have these and also do not have any means to deal with transborder crimes. BD-CSIRT is yet to figure out its modus operandi; people are yet to know to whom and where to contact to lodge a complaint, as the BTRC has not provided the name of any website or an email address. And the state machineries are moving at a snail`s pace.

Thus harassment by hacking piracy, damage of secrecy by using technology, eve teasing and pornography has been transferred into social diseases. Cyber criminal can break out from the law enforcer for the reason of lacking suitable law relating cyber crime and lacking of implementation of existing law. This crime can be new-fangled but its consequence is so ruthless. The gradual reliance and extensive use of computer and information technology by the financial institutions like bank, insurance company and other non-government organizations enhance the fear of commission of cyber crime. Computer has been used as an apparatus of crime like making forged certificates and documents for a number of years in Bangladesh though the episode of targeting computer or computer system is very bizarre. So it is unambiguous to us that the cyberspace of Bangladesh is not secured. The Prime Minister inaugurated the opening of 64 district web-portals on 06 January 2010 while the hackers invaded 19 of them by 21 March/2010. This was the last known invasion in government's cyber territory as well as the first criminality by the foreign hackers. However, the news of cyber crime sporadically published in the newspapers at intervals. But like the traditional ones most of the computer related crimes remain unpublished, unregistered and un-investigated and even if someone goes to Thana, police says that we have no any idea regarding this kind of offence and in fact it is not a normal crime. Experts are very much important for identifying Cyber Crime but there is no sufficient expert of cybercrime in Bangladesh. Nowadays out source income is very popular in our country but most of the time many people are cheated. 30 lacs people uses Face book and 60 lacs people uses internet in Bangladesh. For this reason cyber crime are taking place frequently in our country.

What should be done for preventing this crime? Two models like Authoritarian approach and Liberal democratic approach can be taken for protecting this crime. Authoritarian approach is developing a surveillance system by using filtering software at the control points of the internet at the backbone level and monitoring the use of computer. Liberal democratic approach is making individual aware of the risks, hunt down and punish criminals, respect human rights. Another important thing is the fixing the problems in the existing cyber-crime prevention measures CSIRT need to have a clear blueprint for its work. Constituting Cyber Tribunals with people who are knowledgeable about cybercrimes must be implemented as early as possible. Bangladesh can ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, already more than 30 western and developing countries ratified this treaty and Bangladesh can deal bilaterally with individual countries to shield this crime joining China and Brazil to demand a UN Framework for dealing with cybercrimes at the Internet Governance Forum. Some other perception should be there like using original software; intricate password should be used; and it should be memorized. For preventing these crimes, short term, mid term and long term steps can be taken for implementing Act, 2006.

There are some inconsistencies which should be amended in ICT Act 2006. The Act of

2006 is very silent on jurisdictional issues; the Act of 2006 is not achieving inclusive achievement is the lack of awareness among the citizens about their rights. Further, most of the cases are going unreported. The definition of hacking provided in section 66 of the Act is very wide and capable of misapplication. The Act is not comprehensive enough and doesn't even define the term 'cyber crime'. The recent cases including Cyber stalking cyber harassment, cyber nuisance, and cyber defamation have shown that the Act has not dealt with those offences. According to the Act the cybercrime shall be treated as non cognizable offence that is why the police can't arrest the criminals without warrant except some cases. The Police are not trained up. So they can be given more training about cyber crime. It is a matter of regret that Cyber Tribunal is not created under ICT Act 2006. I would like to bring this article to a close in the following way that if we look upon the current framework of our country we with no trouble observe some drawbacks of existing cybercrime related law. Present government desires to digitalise Bangladesh. The pre-requisite of gratifying vision 2021 is to make sure cyber security. So to set up digital Bangladesh the concerned authority should give concentration about the improvement, amendment and due implementation of cyber law.

The writer is a student of law, University of Dhaka.



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