National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre, ahead of the national polls, has requested Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to empower it with regulatory authority over Internet Service Providers and International Internet Gateway operators.
NTMC, which is under the home ministry and comprised of officials of security forces and law enforcing agencies, makes the plea as the entity has been facing difficulty in carrying out its activities for different reasons, including incapacity of the ISPs and IIG operators to provide support, sources have said.
NTMC provides lawful interception service to law enforcing and detective agencies of the government for preventing misuse of ultramodern information technology by terrorists, and collecting, analysing, identifying and evaluating information related to such activities.
NTMC in its letter to BTRC has mentioned that the government and the home ministry have allowed the entity to establish integrated lawful interception system to carry out its activities.
International internet gateway operators, internet service providers, broadband wireless access, national internet exchange, internet protocol telephony service provider, public switched telephone network and mobile network operators will be connected to the system.
NTMC in its letter to the commission also says that some ISPs and IIGs have not yet complied with their respective licensing guidelines and some legal ISPs are providing service to illegal operators, obstructing their usual course of action.
It mentions that facebook, whatsapp, twitter, personal blogs and some other social media platforms are used to spread information demeaning the government.
NTMC in the letter observes that ahead of the national polls, it has become urgent for the entity to provide law enforcing agencies with lawful interception facility to ensure prevention of such activities.
In this context, the letter has requested the telecom regulator to delegate regulatory power to NTMC over ISPs and IIGs under section 97(ka) of telecommunication act.
Asked about the NTMC plea, BTRC officials have said that the work of the commission is to maintain discipline in the telecommunication sector but delegation of regulatory power to NTMC will create a dual regulatory authority.
On other hand, NTMC has already been enjoying power over the licencees, that allows the government’s surveillance unit to give order or instruct ISPs and IIGs.
Apart from this, NTMC can inform BTRC for taking measures against any entity if it does not comply with the order or instruction, the BTRC officials mention.
Earlier in October this year, BTRC has turned down a request of NTMC to get nationwide telecommunication transmission network licence.
The commission, however, decided to support NTMC in ensuring smooth connectivity of the unit’s system with all the telecom service providers.
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