Expressing concern at surveillance of cybercrime, Transparency International Bangladesh yesterday said the misuse of surveillance of cybercrime can lead to the risk of curbing freedom of speech and expression.
TIB, however, said initiatives for the formation of specialised police units for surveillance of cybercrime are timely and essential.
In a statement, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, “The news published in the media has revealed that the government has initiated the formation of a specialised unit to target those who spread malicious, provocative contents hurting religious sentiments. The problem of cyber crime prevention and suppression is a problem for the world. Bangladesh is no exception in this regard.”
Effective surveillance is essential to control and prevent such crime. But if there is a lack of technical expertise, honesty, professionalism and neutrality in the law enforcement agencies involved in the surveillance, there is a risk of curtailing the freedom of speech, he said.
He also said, “Especially if such a unit is not able to perform responsibilities with rising above irregularities, corruption, political and administrative influence, then such surveillance can be risky and suicidal.”
Before the introduction of the unit, government should prepare specific rules, strict monitoring, internal control and accountability system to ensure full neutrality, materialism and professionalism in the use of vested capacities.”
The 505-strong fully-fledged specialised unit -- Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau -- has already been approved by the home ministry while the import of the OSINT, software to help police find cyber offenders, is in the pipeline.