Journos having no intention to publish falsehoods don’t need to worry: Sajeeb Wazed

Journalists and editors who have no intention to publish falsehoods do not need to worry about the recently passed Digital Security Act 2018, said Prime Minister’s ICT adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy in a Facebook post on Sunday night.

In the Facebook post, Joy expressed his opinion about the criticisms by certain quarters about the Digital Security Act, reports the UNB.

Joy said, ‘With regards to hacking and covert surveillance in Government offices and computers, this was created to protect citizen data and privacy. We did not have any specific laws against hacking and theft of data until this Act. How are we supposed to prosecute hacking and theft of your data without this law?’

Mentioning that public information such as national ID numbers, bank, health and land records and others important information are now digitalised and stored in government system, he said, ‘If these are hacked, who will be to blame? You will blame the Government. As the ICT Advisor I had recommended these laws to prevent hacking.’

Recognising that this law may make the journalists’ work harder, Sajeeb said, ‘Should journalists be allowed to hack and capture any information, including citizen data being discussed inside a Government office, in order to expose someone corrupt?’

Referring to the practices in the EU and the USA, he claimed that no country in the world allowed to gather information through illegal means, and journalists have to go to other sources for information.

He said, ‘Neither our Press Club nor the Editors’ Council, indeed no media body has ever enforced their own charter of ethics and conduct. The current head of the Editors’ Council is Mahfuz Anam, who confessed on television to running a false smear campaign against our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the 1-11 dictatorship.’

‘In the US or EU, he would have been forced to resign from journalism and he would never be employed as a journalist or editor again. By contrast, in Bangladesh, the Editors’ Council jumped to his defence and has now even made him General Secretary. I find this astounding. Since the EU and US Embassy have issued their opinion on this Act, they should also issue a statement on Mahfuz Anam’s confession as the Editor of a major national newspaper. Otherwise, they’re being partisan and interfering in our internal affairs. The hypocrisy is mind boggling!’