Released on Sunday, a draft bill introduced by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology calls for the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in a transparent, accountable, and secure manner.

Under the proposed legislation, the establishment of a center of excellence for research and development in AI, machine learning, and blockchain is mandated.
It also outlines the structure for IT and cybersecurity management, including the formation of a director’s committee led by the Minister for Communications and Information Technology.

Some of the key provisions of the draft bill include the creation of a coordination committee tasked with ensuring rapid response to cyber threats and addresses various aspects of electronic records, data security, digital signatures, public service delivery via electronic mediums, and technical audits of IT systems.

The draft bill emphasizes the protection of personal data, ensuring that the government only collects information as required by law and notifies individuals before doing so. Furthermore, it mandates that all government bodies and public corporations maintain standardized websites to facilitate service delivery and information sharing.

It prohibits unauthorized collection of personal information and mandate informing individuals about the purpose of data collection. Furthermore, it restricts the use and sharing of personal data to disclosed purposes or with explicit consent.

The bill also emphasizes the need for lawful authorization before accessing or recording electronic communications, ensuring privacy rights are upheld even in public speech or statements and underscores that interception or recording of communications must strictly adhere to existing legal frameworks.

Individuals or entities seeking to register domain names must adhere to regulations set by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, including mandatory renewal every two years.

Those offering cybersecurity services are required to obtain licenses, ensuring accountability and professionalism in the industry.

The draft bill invites feedback from stakeholders within a two-week period.