Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) today called for formulating a guideline before a specialised police unit launches its operation to combat cyber crimes.
Experts and stakeholders should be included into the formulation process of the guideline, the TIB said in a press statement.
Taking lesson from the experience worldwide is a must, it said.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said they have learnt from media that the government has taken initiative to form a specialised police unit, which will be equipped with modern software, to mine any remarks or postings in social media that are defamatory, offensive and can hurt religious sentiment.
Combating cybercrimes is a global phenomenon and Bangladesh is not out of it, he said adding, so effective surveillance is must to control and prevent such crimes.
He said, “There is a risk of violation of people’s freedom of speech and expression, as guaranteed by the constitution, if the law enforcers, who will get involved in such surveillance, lacks of skill, honesty, professionalism and impartiality”.
Especially, such surveillance can be risky and suicidal if the unit fails to discharge duties going out from political and administrative influence and also from irregularities and corruption, he added.
He said people’s freedom of speech and expression has already been shrunk due to misuse of section 57 of Information and Communication Technology Act and that’s why the law and information ministers announced to annul the section.
“These promises must be fulfilled immediately,” he said.
At the same time, before the special unit starts operation, formulation of a guideline, speciality, close observation, accountability and internal control must be established to ensure impartiality, objectivity and professionalism of the unit, he said.