New BTRC regulation violates constitutional rights: TIB

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) considers the draft “Regulation for Digital, Social Media and OTT Platforms” prepared by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to be against the constitution.

TIB executive director said Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, “Although the regulation was said to be formed to make online platforms risk-free, the decision is like cutting off the whole head to get rid of a headache. If this regulation is finalised, the constitutional rights of the people will be violated.”

He said, “This draft is in conflict with the whole constitution. Therefore, the draft should not be amended, rather the whole has to be scrapped and a new draft has to be prepared.”

He made the demand at a virtual press conference on the draft policy titled “The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Regulation for Digital, Social Media and OTT Platforms 2021” on Sunday.

According to the section 7.03 of the regulation it has to be ensured that messaging service providers are able to identify everyone who avails their services.

Currently, most messaging services use end-to-end encryption to ensure safety of the users but to be able to identify everyone this encryption will have to be removed, reads a press release.

This will violate the users’ basic right to privacy. These types of restrictions are imposed only to prevent terrorism and child pornography.

Using this to stop criticism of the government and to surveil over the opposition is unacceptable, reads the statement.

If this is actualized people will be unable to express themselves freely and due to international laws many messaging services will stop providing services in Bangladesh.

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