The US Department of State has welcomed Bangladesh's decision to reform the Digital Security Act (DSA).
"As we've previously stated, the Digital Security Act has been used to arrest, detain, and silence critics," Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the US Department of State said during its regular press briefing on Monday (7 August).
"We welcome the reports that Bangladesh's cabinet has decided to 'repeal' the Digital Security Act," he added.
Miller further said the US welcome the Bangladeshi Government's long-stated commitment to reform the law to protect freedom of expression, and the country encourages the Government of Bangladesh to give all stakeholders an opportunity to review and provide input to the new draft Cyber Security Act to ensure it meets international standards".
He came up with the remarks when a journalist wanted to know if the US have any assessment about the reform of the Digital Security Act in Bangladesh and where the US think it is going.
The government has decided to replace the heavily criticised Digital Security Act 2018 with an upgraded Cyber Security Act 2023 with amendments to some sections of the existing law and the addition of new penalties for hacking-related offences.
The current Digital Security Act entails imprisonment for offences such as publishing defamatory information against someone.
The draft "Cyber Security Act 2023" was approved in principle in a Monday cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division presented the draft law at the Cabinet meeting.
"We have decided to change the Digital Security Act to the Cyber Security Act. Many sections of the Digital Security Act will not be in the new law. There will also be changes and corrections," Law Minister Anisul Huq told The Business Standard.