Draft Regulations on digital media and OTT platforms

2022-03-08 06:37:41 BdST

2024-05-18 13:30:46 BdST

Published: 2022-03-08 06:37:41 BdST

IT Live: We, the Bangladesh Internet Freedom Initiative Working Group (BIFIWG) urge the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MoI) authorities to protect people’s rights and freedoms, and enable an open, free and secure internet in Bangladesh.

We also urge concerned authorities to facilitate the users of the digital public space to enjoy constitutional rights, experience the freedom of expression and have the access to information as ensured by the laws of Bangladesh.

The draft “Regulation for Digital, Social Media and OTT Platforms” (Draft Regulations) and ‘‘Over the Top (OTT) Content-Based Service Delivery and Governance Policy (Draft)’’, published respectively on the BTRC and MoI website on February 3, 2022. In our consideration, these two drafts require in-depth evaluation. We would like to carry out a thorough review of the drafts to see whether the proposed legal instruments have any deleterious impact on the constitutional rights of the users of digital public space.

On principle, a guideline for New Media (Including Digital Media, Social Media, etc.), OTT Platform should be there to respect, protect and promote the rights in the digital space, making the “Digital Bangladesh” vision meaningful by embracing the tenets of Fourth Industrial Revolutions which would ensure freedom of expression on the digital platform.

We respectfully call upon the BTRC and the MoI to extend the time to submit comments on the draft rules. We implore the authorities to further extend the period of consultation, at least ‍ another eight weeks, to enable meaningful and in-depth analysis and concrete feedback from the relevant stakeholders ensuring their inclusive participation.

We also recall the commitment made by the current ruling party during a national election in 2008 about transforming Bangladesh into ‘Digital Bangladesh' and now call on the government to establish a comprehensive, transparent digital governance system to ensure the citizen’s entitlement for a secure and effective enjoyment of the digital public space.

Bangladesh Internet Freedom Initiative Working Group is a group of experts that strives to address the salient issues of citizens’ constitutional, legal and moral rights to enjoy the rights guaranteed by the laws of Bangladesh. The group works through strategic advocacy, campaign, legal analysis of existing national legal frameworks, and by providing recommendations for legal reform of government policies and practices aimed at fostering and advancing internet freedom in the country.

Dhaka, 07 March (campuslive24.com)//bit


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