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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Bangladesh - September 2023

Government passes Cyber Security Act 2023

On 13 September, parliament approved the Cyber Security Act (CSA) 2023, aimed at preventing cybercrime and the spread of false information. The CSA replaces the controversial Digital Security Act (DSA) 2018. Concerns have been raised by the United States and Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) due to the rapid passage of the bill, which appears to have ignored input from various stakeholders. TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman pointed out that the bill was introduced in parliament on 5 September and passed in just eight days, facilitated by the ruling party's overwhelming majority. Critics argue that while some non-bailable provisions from the DSA have been made bailable and sentences reduced, the bill still contains repressive elements from the DSA. These include vague definitions of offences and provisions for potentially misused arrests. Opposition lawmakers have dubbed it "old wine in a new bottle." Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen encouraged stakeholders to review the act before passing judgment, emphasizing that it has considered all perspectives. The Act has not yet been publicly disclosed.

Sources: Dhaka Tribune (1), Dhaka Tribune (2), ICNL, Transparency International, The Daily Star

Primary categories and factors
Representation -1 Representation  (-1)
Effective Parliament
Secondary categories and factors
Rights Rights
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Expression

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