Men use their cellphones in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on December 28, 2018. Newly proposed regulations in the country would threaten free speech. (AFP/Munir Uz Zaman)

CPJ joins call for Bangladesh authorities to withdraw proposed internet regulations

On March 7, 2022, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined 43 other press freedom, digital rights, and civil society groups in a letter calling on Bangladesh’s communications regulator to withdraw new proposed policies that could stifle free expression online.

A package of proposed regulations, titled the “Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Regulation for Digital, Social Media and OTT Platforms,” published online on February 3, would imperil digital security and free speech, the letter states.

The letter highlights provisions including a traceability requirement that would undermine encryption, overbroad and ambiguous bans on a range of content, and plans to empower the Ministry of Information to set binding rules for media outlets’ content.

The letter calls for the country’s communications regulator, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, to withdraw the regulations and to consult with those affected by such rules before proposing new regulations.

Read the full letter here.