Social media coming under watch

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will have ultimate control over those sites once the technologies are in place.

As part of the process, the regulator advertised on its website on Apr 8 for ‘Internet Safety Solutions’.

The deadline for response ended two days ago.

A top BTRC official told bdnews24.com several international internet solution providers have expressed their interest in the project.

“The selection process will start after scrutinising those,” added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said BTRC will shut down any website using these technologies if it found material that spread social, political and religious hatred.

The BTRC advertisement asked for such a security system that would be able to weed out ‘objectionable’ internet posts from the site without closing it down.

The regulator also specified that the system should not slow the internet speed down and should enable the IIGs to do business without any obstacles.

Once the system is installed, the telecom watchdog will use it round the clock.

The BTRC had directed IIGs to slash down internet bandwidth speed for uploading contents by 75 percent but withdrew the order on Sunday.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu at a media call on the same day said the government would take the help of ‘special technology’ to bar objectionable materials from being viewed on the social media websites.

It would be easier to remove disagreeable contents from Facebook once this technology was put in place, said Inu.

Popular video streaming site YouTube has been blocked in Bangladesh since Sept 17 last year, after an abusive video on the Prophet Mohammad was uploaded on the site and Google Inc that owns the website did not delete it, creating tensions.

A Bangladeshi IIG official said those special technologies would help the government to access anyone’s personal accounts on Facebook and other social network sites.

Fibre@Home Chief Strategic officer Sumon Ahmed Sabir believes such ‘filtering’ will not hamper the IIGs.

Another expert on information technology, Mostafa Zabbar said developed countries had already put in place such ‘supervision’.

”The decision is right in the light of propagandas being spread in the social networking sites in recent times,” he said. “The BTRC should be watchful so that the filtering process is not used for political purposes.”

Asked whether the move would hamper people’s privacy, he said, “We need to see the matter differently.”

”It should be filtered if someone tries to make offensive remarks against others or tries to harm them. Otherwise, the problem will not end,” he said.

Source: bdnews24