Responding to Cyber Crimes in Digital Bangladesh

Cyber crime and cyber security are the world’s most discussed topics. The issue was brought to the political discussion table as an agenda by Julian Assange (founder of Wikileaks) and Edward Snowden (information leaker of the CIA). Besides, the Panama Paper’s scandal and the Bangladesh Bank’s money theft added new dimensions. It even emerged as a new issue in the voting politics due to the email leaking of the former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

New Weapons of this Era:
Information technology and security experts believe that the war in the future will not only be limited to the security and sovereignty of the terrain, but also to protect the security in the cyberspace. The war in cyberspace in the world is referred as the battle of the fifth domain. After achieving the ability to fight ground, naval, air and sky wars, many countries are preparing to combat the war in cyberspace. The weapon to be used in this war will not be any nuclear bomb, guns or other ammunitions. The weapon of this war will be the logic bomb. Some are calling it a digital continental ballistic missile. During this war, intellectuals, information and data are being theft and computer-internet system are completely stagnant by using technology code additions, software tampons and website hacking. As a result, the government and various organizations will be suffering from huge losses every year. Four years ago, a study by the US-based cyber security firm McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in July 2013 said that the amount of damage to the world is about 300 billion US dollars due to intellectual property and business data theft, cyber crime, service delivery, hacking etc.

And in 2014, Intel Security Report stated that the amount of cyber-related financial losses in the world were $375 billion. There is a proverb in the cyber world: ‘Why to send a bullet where you can send a byte’. With these considerations, many states are preparing for the war in the fifth domain i.e. world cyber world. The first incident of the logic bomb power used in this world took place in Russia in 1982.It is said that the report that the Cold War was a new height. It is a matter of great concern for the rapidly developing country like Bangladesh. Last year, cyber hackers stole 951 million US dollars from Bangladesh Bank a lot of crimes are being committed in our cyberspace. The character of small and big screen actresses is often being smitten through the release of questionable contents. These incidents question our cyber security.

Digitalization of Bangladesh:
At one point of time, the concept of Digital Bangladesh was mocked. But now in 2017, Digital Bangladesh is a reality. In Bangladesh, the first official computer came in ‘Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission’ and Lecturer Abdullah Al Moti Sharfuddin took the first personal computer. At present, computer and internet is available in almost every household. Access to Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Skype, line, Imo, Messenger, WhatsApp is a common phenomenon.

Cyber Crimes:
In this era of technology, people are wandering in the virtual world more than the real world. This virtual world is changing due to human life, thinking and attitude. By these different forms of crimes are being committed by men. For example, hacking, cyber bullying, email spamming, online scandals and fraud, identity and data, frauds, e-commerce, abuse of women and children on various sexual sites, and so on. Electronic money laundering, cross-links for criminal conspiracy, conspiracy through telecommunications, cyber-terrorism, extortion etc are also common occurrences.

Tyler Clemensi, a student of Rutgers University, committed suicide by jumping from the Washington Bridge after being victimized by cyber bullying in 2010. Meanwhile,in a conference in Norway in 2015,Monica Lewinsky said, “In 1998,my secret conversation with Clinton was published. That year online trolling made my life miserable. Many girls are being victimized daily by cyber crimes. Privacy in the cyberspace is also a delicate issue. Recently, ‘Aynabaji’ was stolen and displayed in Youtube. Due to this, the owners of the cinema halls faced great loss. Although cyber security is somewhat stronger in America, Iran, China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and even in our neighbouring India, but it is not enough. However, in those countries, some agencies have been assigned by government to monitor cyber-security US Pentagon is building US cyber command. The Iranian Cyber Army is considered to be the second largest cyber army in the world. It is believed that the Bureau-121 Cyber Agency, formed by the North Korean government, is responsible for their cyber security. But in Bangladesh, there is no agency looking after our cyber-security.

Remedies and Recommendations:
Recently, the government has formed Counter Terrorism and Transitional Crime Unit in Dhaka Metropolitan Police, which is looking after the cybercrimes issues. The IT Act has to be more updated, because, many criminals are escaping from punishments by exploiting its loopholes and reputation of many innocents are being tarnished due to the misuse of the law. The fact that the killers and the co-conspirators of the murder of Rajiv Haider, Abhijit Roy, Wasikur Rahman and other prominent bloggers and secular writers kept communicating with each other in social media has been found out in police investigation.

It is a matter of great regret that our law enforcement agencies have not been able to do anything to monitor criminals in cyberspace. Because, the law enforcement agencies lack skilled manpower and sufficient technology. The incident of poaching the pictures and news of the Holey Artisan attack in ‘AMAK’ proves that terrorists are far ahead than the law enforcement agencies in using technology. It is impossible to suppress cyber crime only by law enforcement or punishment. Public awareness and appropriate education is thoroughly needed. Cyber curriculum should be introduced in the school and colleges as soon as possible.

There is no difference between humans and animals if education is taken away from us. The animalism hides among every human being and it is suppressed by education. If the family, society, state or environment is unable to teach us humanity, then the people are no different than animals.

Simultaneously, not only by making laws, but also with proper and effective law enforcement, cyber crimes need to be changed. It is necessary to create opportunity for adequate research on cybercrime and safety. ‘Cyber Ethics’ in philosophy syllabus and ‘cyber-psychology’ in Psychology Departments should be added in each and every university. Cyber Law should be included in the curriculum of Law.

Cyber crimes have played an important role in preventing the speed of digital Bangladesh. Science and technology are changing the world every day. In the coming ten years, our world will be changed due to the progress of science and technology. The law, culture and human habits will change. With the updates of science and technology, there will come changes in our society. If Bangladesh fails to update itself with these coming times, we will lag behind. ‘Pay Pal’ is coming to Bangladesh as well as ‘Ebay’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Alibaba’ and many others. We have to ensure the security of financial entities in online. The credit card fraud cases of different banks in the beginning of last year are a slap to our poor cyber management. The updated and appropriate laws should be enacted. Students should be taught cyber ethics. Digital security of digital Bangladesh must be ensured at any cost.

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Rejon Hider Rijvi

Student of LL.B (Hons) First Year, Department of Law, University of Chittagong.

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