New laws to prevent publishing defamatory posts on social media

New laws will be introduced to prevent the publishing of defamatory posts on social media, the Defence Ministry said.

The Defence Ministry said that a mechanism will also be introduced for the immediate removal of ethnically and religiously sensitive posts that spread hatred via social media networks.

The new legal framework will be introduced under the National Cyber Security Strategy, which will be formulated soon to address emerging cyber crimes issue that poses a threat to national security, the Defence Ministry said.

Defence Secretary Maj.Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne has instructed officials of the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) to finalise drafting the proposed Cyber Security Act, which will establish a comprehensive framework for the prevention and management of cyber security threats and incidents effectively, and protect critical information infrastructure.

At a meeting held at the BMICH, SLCERT officials said that the draft was handed over to the Legal Draftsman for final legal clarifications.

The crimes include cyber crimes against individuals such as credit card fraud, revenge, porn, crimes against property, crimes against hacking and intellectual property theft and cyber crimes against Government and other organisations such as cyber terrorism, hacking of websites, processing of unauthorised information and hacking into sensitive financial data.

Maj.Gen. Gunaratne highlighted the importance of introducing the new mechanism to prevent spreading hate speech using popular social media networks.

SLCERT, functioning under the purview of Defence Ministry, is an institute that works as the national level focal point on cyber security related issues.

Under the new mechanism a Digital Infrastructure Protection Agency (DIPA) will be set up as an apex body for all cyber security related affairs in the country. The DIPA is mandated to implement the National Information and Cyber Security Strategy.

SLCERT officials told that cybercrimes against individuals and organisations are increasing rapidly as Sri Lanka lacks proper legal and tracking system to bring those culprits to book.

Information and Communication Technology Ministry Additional Secretary Waruna Dhanapala, SLCERT CEO Lal Dias, SLCERT Director Policy Dr. Kanishka Karunasena, Head of Operation Rohana Palliyaguru and Committee Member Manori Unambuwa were present at the meeting.


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