Cyber Crime & Laws of Bangladesh

Cyber Crimes will be dealt by Cyber Tribunals. Every district has a Cyber Tribunal in Bangladesh. The cases of cyber tribunals are of criminal nature. That means, if you are under a case of cyber tribunal then it you will not just be fined but there is possible jail time. And unlike other crimes, in case of Cyber Crime, the jail time and the fine, both are huge in number. The Cyber Crimes are described in the Digital Security Act 2018.  Cyber Law deals with the legal issues of the internet usage and all devices connected over the network, their proper use in order to prevent and control Cyber Crimes. Since the internet is all over the world the rules and regulations are a bit cloudy but we need to keep in mind a few things to ensure that we are using the internet in a proper and safe manner without causing any trouble.

a. The internet’s jurisdictional boundaries may not be clear but the users are bound by the jurisdictional laws of the area in which they reside.

b. Do not access web sites that may not be approved by the jurisdiction in your area.

c. Do not post any offensive material that may cause an outrage among other internet users. Articles with an offensive tone on sensitive subjects like religion, politics etc., Uploading child pornography and other offensive materials is considered a crime in many countries and is punishable depending upon the country’s laws.

d. Illegally downloading and distributing protected items like intellectual property and copyrighted articles is a Cyber Crime and those who are caught engaging in such acts can be prosecuted.

e. Duplication of content or software from CDs and DVDs that are copyrighted and distribution of these on the internet is punishable.

f. Stealing user information (phishing) and impersonating a user (ID theft) are serious Cyber Crimes.

g. Sending bulk messages that can affect networks and jam mailboxes is called spamming. The US introduced CAN-SPAM Act t in 2003 that allows prosecution of spammers.

h. Sending malicious codes such as viruses and worms through websites and e-mails is a Cyber Crime that can cause serious damages and anyone caught engaging in the act can be seriously punished.

i. Any site that allows users to download materials without acquiring proper permissions can be prosecuted or even be made to close down. Napster.com was shut down for similar reasons.

What to Do ?

If you are the victim:

Go to police station. Report it to the police if the offences are of category (a). Then come back and wait for the police to investigate. You can also help the police to investigate with evidence. But remember, the evidence on which police will investigate may not always be admissible in court. So, if you are sure then go to court, unless don’t bother. Just ignore. Otherwise you will be part of a case with no evidence or less evidence and the offender may get away.

But if you are the victim of the offences of category (b). Go to police station and file an FIR to the police. FIR means, you have initiated a case already. And the police can if they want without any investigation, arrest the offender.

If you are accused:

When anybody threatens you with anything and you are not guilty, don’t get afraid. Court will not take false evidence and you will always get the chance to say your side. Talk to a lawyer. If the police goes to your house to search, first ask for a warrant and then ask for two witnesses who are respected in the area. Like a headmaster or a teacher of a college. Without a warrant and two witnesses, do not let police enter into your house. Call 999 if anybody tries to force into your house. Do not think that screenshots or videos in mobile will be enough in court. In most of the cases court won’t even take them into account. So, if you are in a serious position, talk to a lawyer. 

What can Do Police ?

Police must have a warrant to arrest:

  • Hacking but doing nothing
  • Use of VPN
  • Publishing, sending of offensive, false or fear inducing data-information:
  • To publish in public or sending in private, false-offensive-fear inducing information
  • Publishing, broadcasting defamatory information:
  • To say anything false and defamatory which hurt the other person’s reputation in public

Police can arrest without any warrant:

  • Hacking and damage
  • Spreading propaganda or campaign against liberation war, Cognition of liberation war, Father of the nation, National Anthem or National Flag
  • Digital or Electronic Forgery
  • Digital or Electronic Fraud
  • Identity Fraud or Being in Disguise
  • Collecting, Using Identity Information without Permission
  • Committing Cyber-terrorism
  • Publication, Broadcast, etc. of such information in any website or in any electronic format that hampers the religious sentiment or values
  • Breaching Government Secret Offence and Punishment

Parag Pasha

Department of Law

University of Dhaka