News update
  • What is Singapore's oil spill telling us?     |     
  • Weekly Report of OIC on Israel’s Crimes against Palestinians      |     
  • Free probe shows Israeli destruction & dislocation tactics      |     
  • Deadly, growing impact of air pollution laid bare in new report     |     
  • Flood leaves over 8 lakh people stranded in Sylhet     |     

Get the basics right first, please

Focusing on AI will be important in the coming years

GreenWatch Desk Opinion 2024-04-13, 9:20pm


As a nation that is becoming increasingly reliant on the internet as a crucial enabler of economic progress, the importance of properly laid-out cyber security laws will become all the more apparent.

However, unfortunately, cyber security has become something of a contentious issue for Bangladesh with incredibly problematic laws such as the Digital Security Act (DSA), and its current successor the Cyber Security Act (CSA), being less about protecting citizens from the threat of cyber criminals and more about keeping potential public dissent in check.
The recent remarks made by the Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs regarding the supposed importance of artificial intelligence in facilitating the government’s vision of a Smart Bangladesh comes off as somewhat tone-deaf, considering that Bangladesh is still in need of cyber security policies which help people feel safe on the internet.
AI has become something of a buzzword in the past few years, with generative AI especially being highlighted for its potential to both help and harm society at large. And while the government’s assurance that it has initiatives in place to control the “bad sides” of AI are welcome, what we need before even considering the potential integration of any AI-based systems is a comprehensive remap of our cyber security and data laws.
With the current CSA and the much-discussed Data Protection Act both possessing far too many provisions which can potentially compromise the constitutional rights of citizens, the government needs to ensure that these laws do what they are supposed to before anything else.
The internet has become an indispensable part of our lives, the proliferation of which has led to unprecedented progress for Bangladeshis -- and that is exactly why we need cyber security laws which help keep us safe. The Bangladesh Bank Heist from 2016 was an abject lesson on how a lack of comprehensive cyber security laws can leave the entire nation vulnerable.
Yes, focusing on AI will be important in the coming years, but we need to get the basics of cyber security right first.