Securing Bangladesh’s Digital Future: A Deep Dive into Cybersecurity

Repoter : News Room
Published: 13 March, 2024 11:03 am

Salma Aktar Priyo: In recent years, Bangladesh has encountered a significant surge in cybercrimes, propelled by increased internet access, especially through smartphones. To combat this escalating threat, the government has undertaken various initiatives, including legislative measures and law enforcement efforts. The Information and Communication Technology Act of 2006, amended to address emerging threats, and the Digital Security Act of 2018, And by passing the Cyber ​​Security Bill in 2023, Bangladesh further strengthened its cyber security system.

Cybercrimes in Bangladesh span a wide range of offenses, including those against individuals, property, and the government, presenting multifaceted challenges. Crimes targeting individuals, such as cyberbullying and identity theft, inflict emotional distress, while those against property, like hacking and online fraud, pose significant financial risks. Cybercrimes targeting the government, such as hacking government websites, pose threats to national security and essential services, underscoring the diverse nature of cyber threats in the country.

Efforts to combat cybercrimes involve a multifaceted approach, encompassing cybersecurity measures, public awareness campaigns, law enforcement enhancement, and international cooperation. Specialized units like the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) Cyber Crime Unit and the Bangladesh Police Cyber Crime Unit play crucial roles in investigating cyber offenses, gathering digital evidence, and prosecuting perpetrators. Additionally, collaboration with international law enforcement agencies bolsters Bangladesh’s cybersecurity capabilities in combating transnational cybercrimes.

According to the results of the research, Cybercrimes manifest in eleven distinct forms, with four being novel, showcasing an alarming trend. The proportion of female victims has surged to 16.77%, yet 80.6% refrain from seeking legal assistance. Threats via phone calls constitute the predominant offense at 6.51%, followed by copyright infringement (5.58%), fraudulent employment promises (1.40%), and fraudulent product sales (0.47%). Notably, pornography-related crimes spiked from 2.25% to 6.05%, while misinformation dissemination decreased from 27.07% to 22.33%. Victims primarily fall within the 18-30 age bracket, with females comprising 67.90% of all victims, marking a significant increase.

In 2023, Bangladesh took a significant step forward in strengthening its cybersecurity measures with the passage of the Cyber Security Bill. This bill, which was passed in Parliament with provisions making offenses under four of its sections non-bailable, represents a significant development in the country’s legislative response to cyber threats. By replacing the Digital Security Act and revising the provisions for non-bailable offenses, the Cyber Security Bill aims to enhance digital security measures while ensuring a balance between security concerns and individual rights.

The legal framework governing cybersecurity in Bangladesh is comprehensive and stringent, aiming to prevent cybercrimes and ensure the security of information and communication technology. The Information and Communication Technology Act of 2006 imposes stringent penalties for cyber-related offenses, with a maximum punishment of 14 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 10 million taka, or both. Additionally, the Digital Security Act of 2018 provides specific offenses and penalties, deterring cybercriminal activities and safeguarding digital security.

The Information Technology (Certifying Authorities) Rules of 2010 regulate the operation of Certifying Authorities, contributing to the security and integrity of digital transactions in Bangladesh. These legislative measures underscore the nation’s commitment to combating digital threats and ensuring cybersecurity in the country.

In conclusion, cybercrimes pose a significant threat to Bangladesh’s digital landscape, necessitating a comprehensive approach involving legislative measures, law enforcement efforts, public awareness campaigns, and international cooperation. The passage of the Cyber Security Bill in 2023, with provisions for non-bailable offenses, marks a crucial step forward in strengthening cybersecurity measures in Bangladesh. With a robust legal framework and collaborative efforts, Bangladesh is poised to address the complex challenges posed by cyber threats and ensure digital security in the modern era.

Writer is a Student of law, World University of Bangladesh.