Instead of the Digital Security Agency, the government has formed the National Cyber Security Agency. Government has constituted this agency under the Cyber Security Act. The Ministry of Information & technology (ICTD) has issued a gazette in this regard on Friday (November 17) and it has been said to implement it immediately. ICTD secretery Md. Shamsul Arefin signed this gazette by order of the President.
As published this new gazette, the Digital Security Agency has been cancelled which was formed under the previous law. The government formed the Digital Security Agency on December 5, 2019.
The Cabinet gave in-principle approval to the ‘Cyber Security Act 2023’ on August 7, as per the decision to amend, modify and replace the much-discussed Digital Security Act (DSA). Then Cabinet Secretary Mahbub Hossain said, ‘The Digital Security Act was made in 2018. In these five years we have had some experience under the law. Along with the experience, the landscape of ICT around the world has also changed a lot. The scope and nature of ICT-related crimes have changed. “Cyber Security Act 2023” has been formulated keeping all factors in mind. With the implementation of this law, the existing DSA will be repealed.
The Cyber Security Act was passed on September 13 this year by repealing the Digital Security Act. Later it came into effect through gazette notification on 18th September. The Act envisages the creation of a National Cyber Security Agency. The Act states- To fulfill the objectives of this Act, the Government shall constitute an agency called the National Cyber Security Agency consisting of a Director General and a number of Directors to be prescribed by rule. The head office of the agency will be in Dhaka.
However, the government can set up a branch office of the agency anywhere in the country outside of Dhaka if necessary. The agency will be administratively attached to the Department of Information and Communication Technology. The Act also states that the powers, duties and functions of the agency shall be prescribed by law.
The Act has amended Section 12 of the DSA to make it bailable. The clauses are 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 31, 32 and 46. Section 18 of the Act states that if a person unlawfully enters or assists in entering a computer system or computer network, then as per sub-section 2 of Section 18, that person shall be punished with imprisonment for six months or a fine not exceeding Tk. 2 lakh. Repeating the same offense will result in double the punishment prescribed for the original offence.
Section 20 of the DSA deals with altering computer source code, Section 22 Digital and Electronics Fraud, Section 23 Digital and Electronics Fraud, Section 24 Identity Fraud and Impersonation, Section 25 Offensive, False or Intimidating, Disclosure of Data Transmission, Section 26 Disclosure of Identity Information Collection and use, Article 27 Organization of cyber terrorist activities, Article 28 Publishing and broadcasting of information offensive to religious values or sentiments in website and any electronic format, Article 29 Publishing and dissemination of defamatory information, Article 31 Undermining law and order, Article 32 Official secrets There are provisions for offenses and penalties for breach.