Bangladesh minister says government using lawful interception tech to monitor social media

Rights groups have expressed concerns over reports that the government has purchased spying technology from Israel

Published : 12 Jan 2023, 05:10 PM
Updated : 12 Jan 2023, 05:10 PM

Amid concerns of rights groups over the purchase of internet surveillance technology by the government, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said it is using the technology permitted by the law.

Transparency International, Bangladesh or TIB on Thursday expressed concerns over reports that the government purchased the technology from Israel.

The use of such technology in the absence of specific policies will pose a “serious risk” of undermining several fundamental constitutional rights, the graft watchdog said.

The home minister faced a question on the issue from ruling Awami League lawmaker Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin in parliament later.

Kamal said the government armed the National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre or NTMC under the ministry with Open Source Intelligence Technology.

The work to launch an Integrated Lawful Interception System was ongoing to prevent activities against the state and the government by monitoring social media, he added.

The NTMC provides lawful spying facilities and communication intel to other government agencies. It is also responsible for arranging electronic media surveillance for other government agencies.

Kamal said law and order was “stable” in Bangladesh because the government was taking effective steps based on intel to prevent communalism, militancy and anti-state conspiracies.

For this, he said in parliament, the government monitors published content, and does not violate the privacy of citizens.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher