Govt pushing Facebook to open local office: Palak

Bangladesh government is pressing Facebook for establishing a local office in the country in order to have a “closer eye” on the activities in the social networking site.

“We are pressuring Facebook to build an office in Bangladesh,” said Junaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for the government’s ICT division, at a programme today.

“We can have proper monitoring if Facebook has an office in Bangladesh,” he told a seminar in Dhaka – organised to herald the technological advancement of the country.

Bangladesh government is already being served information upon request from Facebook after rounds of pressures from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s administration last year.

Also, tougher laws are being formulated to regulate activities on Facebook – Section 57 of the ICT law for instance that is vaguely worded and might curb freedom of speech, according to experts.

In the latest instance of alarm, a Rajshahi University student was arrested for “derogatory remarks” on the prime minister in context to against the establishment of Rampal coal-fired power plant near the world’s largest mangrove forest Sundarbans.

“We were forced to block Facebook in the past for security reasons,” Palak said in the programme. “If Facebook has an office in Bangladesh, there will be no need to block these sites again.”

Palak also highlighted the aspects of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s administration that is leading Bangladesh to “fill in the technological gap” that the country had in the past.

source:Daily star

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