• Thursday, 25 July 2024

Gross misuse of social networking sites- why not to delay forwarding IT Bill?

Published Date : August 23, 2019


         Kathmandu, Aug 23 : After television presenter Rabi Lamichhane was arrested in connection with the death of Shalikram Pudashaini, Sagar Mainali from Simara of Bara district posted a short video on Facebook, showing a khukuri and threatening to kill three big political leaders of the country. He also used invectives against them.

            Mainali, who had come to Nepal, from Malaysia and was preparing to return to foreign job again, was held by the police immediately after he posted the derogatory video. The police then initiated cybercrime case against him as per Electronic Transaction Act 2006.

            Similarly, a Facebook post, bearing the identity of Laxman Bohara Shital has used a photograph of the Superintendent of Police in Pokhara and maintained a status that police Dan Bahadur Malla was the person to implicate Rabi Lamichhane in Pudashaini’s death.

            These are fresh representative Facebook posts/statuses. There are several such posts that have used insulting, displeasing and indecent words that many find much uncomfortable.

            Similar was the time after the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta last year. The VIPs including President, Prime Minister and top leaders are often scolded and debased via social networking sites. Doctored images were/are rife. These are the solid examples that social networking sites are grossly misused in Nepal.

            Superintendent of Police at Metropolitan Police Premise, Kathmandu, Uttamraj Subedi, said, “Misuse of social media has caused crimes. We need to have modern technology to combat it and create public awareness.”

            Nepal Police had set up a cyber bureau a year back in view of the growing number of cyber crimes. The bureau receives as many as 20 cyber related complaints every day. Section 47 of the Electronic Transaction Act 2006 has banned the electronic contents that incite hatred and create social and communal disharmony. Those involved in such are fined up to Rs 100 thousand or five years’ jail or the both.

            As the police informed, women and children are mostly victimized by the cybercrime. As much as 65 percent population is connected to internet in Nepal now. “Among those having mobile phones, 95 percent use smart phones. Some have even committed suicides because of character assassination on social networking site,” said SSP Nabinda Aryal at the bureau.

            Psychologist Dr Narendra Singh Dhagunna observed that social networking sites are mis/used much for their convenience. Most of the users are swayed after rumours rather than taking trouble to find true information, he added.

            He pointed out the need of public awareness on it. According to police report, cases of misusing the social sites are on rise. Cyber Bureau of Police shared that such cases are on rise by 80 per cent since 2070 BS. Therefore, the government is planning to forward Information Technology Bill to manage the cyber security and not to let occur any cyber crimes.

            The Bill, registered in the parliament last March, has the provision of boosting the cyber security. Clause 12 has the provision of five years imprisonment or Rs 500 thousand fine or both if electronic contents were changed. Similarly it has aimed at making the social sites decent, civilized and well managed.

            Clause 14 has the provision of   Rs 300 thousand in fine or one year imprisonment or both if any contents having ill intention were disseminated online.

Responding the query of lawmakers in the meeting of Development and Technology Committee under the Parliament, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Gokul Banskota, had clarified that the Bill was forwarded to control the misuse of social media and but not the media persons.       

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