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Monday, August 2, 2021
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Group of Bangladesh SC lawyers to BTRC: Show us what steps have you taken to prevent eavesdropping

The notice has been sent to the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, the Secretary of the Division of Posts and Telecommunications, the Secretary of the Department of Information and Communication Technology, and the Chairman of BTRC.

Dhaka — A legal notice has been issued seeking information on the steps taken by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) in accordance with the law to prevent eavesdropping on phone conversations.

The notice has been sent to the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, the Secretary of the Division of Posts and Telecommunications, the Secretary of the Department of Information and Communication Technology, and the Chairman of BTRC.

Shishir Monir, a lawyer representing 10 lawyers of the Supreme Court, sent the legal notice on Tuesday. It has been requested to inform the steps taken within seven days. Otherwise, a writ petition will be filed in the high court.

The notice mentions 16 eavesdropping incidents from 2013 to 2021. It said that Article 43 of the Constitution recognizes the protection of the of letters and other means of communication as a fundamental right of citizens.

This right has been guaranteed by the constitution. That is, the protection of privacy in communication is one of the fundamental rights mentioned in Part III of the Constitution.

The notice said that under Section 30 (C) of the BTRC Act, 2001, the Commission was responsible for ensuring the protection of the privacy of telecommunications. But it is being noticed that such phone conversations are happening every day. However, according to the constitution and customary law of the country, the responsibility of the commission is to ensure the protection of personal privacy.

The notice further said that the ruling passed by a three-member larger bench of the High Court on August 28, 2019, came under observation on personal privacy.

According to the verdict, the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and the service providers have the maximum responsibility in this case. It is their responsibility to protect personal privacy in accordance with the Constitution and the law. They cannot provide personal contact information without the provisions of the law.

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