State minister for information and communication technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak presided over the meeting while attorney general Abu Md Amin Uddin and ruling Awami League deputy publicity secretary Aminul Islam Amin spoke it as special guests.

Barrister SM Shafiullha Rahman, barrister Ali Asif Khan Rajib and professor Sheikh Hafizur Rahman Kajal took part in the discussion.

The act is for all, including housewives, farmers, rickshaw pullers, officials and journalists
Information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud on Digital Security Act

Hasan, also joint general secretary of the ruling party, said the digital issue is now a reality and many countries have enacted such act while the rest (countries) are enacting such acts.

“The act is for all, including housewives, farmers, rickshaw pullers, officials and journalists,” he said.

The minister said it was not necessary of the act when the issue of digital system did not exist. But currently the act is needed to ensure digital security of the people to save them from harassment on digital platforms, he added.

He said such acts are available in India named ‘The Information Technology Act 2000, in Pakistan named ‘The Prevention of Crime Act 2016’. The acts also exist in Singapore, Australia and other European countries, he added.

The minister said the chairman of parliamentary standing committee on information of the United Kingdom has informed that it was tough to arrest the persons who were plotting conspiracies or spreading rumours through fake ID or from abroad. That time they have fined the service providers, he added.

Hasan said such acts of taking actions against the persons and social platforms are available in almost all countries if any quarter wants to create instability through Facebook, YouTube or other social media.

He said about only 5 million (50 lakh) people used internet in the country before the Awami League formed the government in 2009 but currently over 110 million (11 crore) people are using the service (internet). About 80 million (8 crore) people are using the social platforms, he added.

Hasan Mahmud further said there were few online newspapers before the Awami League formed the government. And now, there are hundreds of online newspapers across the country, he added.

“We are observing that people are facing different obstacles and different crimes are taking place through online,” the minister said.

Referring to some incidents, Hasan said, “We saw that the Ramu incident took place due to spreading propaganda in social media. The incidents which took place in the recent Durga Puja were also held for spreading propaganda through social platforms.”

For this, he said, there is no scope of spreading confusion about the act. It is the responsibility of the state to provide digital security to the countrymen. But the government remains alert so that none can misuse the act, he added.

State minister for information and communication technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak said Bangladesh has been turned into a digital state under the dynamic leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and the supervision of the her ICT affairs advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy.