Bangladesh eyes online media controls

The Bangladesh government aims to regulate and monitor online news media, New Age newspaper reports.

Many news portals show scant regard for accountability, says Information Minster Hasanul Haq Inu.

Under proposed rules, news sites, including thosep031kxxx run by newspapers and TV stations, must seek registration.

They will be barred from carrying content that “demeans” the armed forces or government officials, “satirizes national ideals”, “hurts religious values” and foments sectarianism and hatred.

A proposed commission will monitor websites and issue show-cause notices to violators.

The policy requires news websites to post information provided by the government about “events of national importance”. There will be a ban on using images of mosques, temples and churches in advertisements.

“The policy contains an estimated 120 clauses, of which 50 list the ‘don’ts’ while the rest list the ‘dos’; failing to obey these rules may result in complete shutdown of any online media,” says communications expert Meer Ahsan Habib in The Daily Star.

“We have had enough laws and policies and another one will have no impact on establishing good governance,” he says.

Originally published by BBC on 4th September 2015

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