In an obvious curb to the growing tech freedom in the country, the ‘democratic’ Nepal government plans to regulate the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) communication by prioritising data security.
According to a recent draft regulatory proposal shared by the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) the Nepal government plans to issue licenses to IoT and M2M service providers, spectrum distribution, and data security.
The move came after the agency in late November permitted Nepal Telecom, a leading telecommunications service provider in the country, to conduct 5G network trials, a new technology that enables IoT and M2M services.
“We’re introducing the regulation to promote responsible use of IoT and M2M services,” Pradip Poudel, deputy director of NTA’s regulation department said recently. “These technologies are in an early stage globally and proper regulation would help avoid various risks.”
The government cites data security behind the new regulation and proposes to make data security paramount criteria. The NTA has proposed that IoT service providers must host all servers and store all data within the territory of Nepal.
Under the proposed new regulation, an IoT service provider will be responsible for a data breach and should report to the NTA within five working days if it occurs. “It should comply with all the laws, regulations, and requirements issued by NTA concerning data management, including the security, privacy, and protection of IoT user’s data,” states the proposed regulation.
The IoT/M2M service provider cannot install or connect any terminal equipment unless it is approved by the NTA.
“As data security has become very important for national security in the digitised world, we proposed a number of measures that help ensure the security of data about Nepali citizens,” said Poudel.