Government considers temporarily blocking Facebook and YouTube over non-compliance

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Government considers temporarily blocking Facebook and YouTube over non-compliance

Public notices will be issued to these companies to clarify that the government will not be held responsible for any rights violations resulting from the block: AKM Mozammel Haque

Staff Correspondent:

In response to alleged non-cooperation from major social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, the Bangladesh government is contemplating a temporary block of these platforms. This action is part of the government’s efforts to combat cybercrime and the dissemination of false information.

The decision was announced following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order at the Secretariat. Committee chairman and Liberation War Affairs Minister, AKM Mozammel Haque, conveyed the government’s concerns regarding the platforms’ lack of responsiveness to official complaints about rumors and cybercrime.

Minister Haque highlighted the absence of local offices for Facebook and YouTube in Bangladesh, pointing out the platforms’ disregard for the government’s recommendations and instructions. He stated, “Social media companies will first be informed about their negligence. If they fail to comply, the government may temporarily block their access.”

He also indicated that public notices will be issued to these companies to clarify that the government will not be held responsible for any rights violations resulting from the block.

Furthermore, with the upcoming upazila elections in view, Minister Mozammel stressed the importance of ensuring a free and fair electoral process. He mentioned the decision to prohibit the use of party symbols in local elections to maintain a level playing field and instructed law enforcement agencies to take strict legal action against any candidate violating the electoral code of conduct.

In preparation for the upazila elections, the Public Administration Ministry has been directed to appoint an adequate number of magistrates.

Addressing the recent surge in fire incidents, Minister Mozammel emphasized the necessity of adhering to building codes during construction and the prompt removal of flammable objects and hazardous chemicals from buildings.

Mr. Haque further commented on the committee’s recommendation to investigate those responsible for the negligence that led to these fire incidents and the approval of risky buildings.

A meeting is scheduled to be held during Ramadan to discuss preventive measures against fire incidents, with the home minister, city mayors, police, and regulatory authorities of hotels and restaurants in attendance.

Expressing concern over the increasing criminal activities in the Rohingya camps, Minister Mozammel stated that diplomatic efforts would be intensified to repatriate the Rohingya refugees.

Lastly, addressing the soaring prices of essential commodities, Minister Mozammel mentioned, “The concerned ministry has been instructed to take necessary measures to reduce the prices of essential goods.”

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