Even though Nepal was declared a democratic country in May 28, 2008, the politician’s suppression still remains and the new IT Bill is the proof of it.
On 11 December, the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s office postponed the ‘bill to amend and integrate laws relating to the constitution and operation of Nepal special service’ in the parliament secretariat.
The Bill states interception as the act of monitoring communication channels and gathering data for the benefit of the nation. Even though the Bureau has spied on individuals in the past, it is not authorized by law to do so. But if the bill gets approved it gives them the right to do so.
The SSB will permit the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) to gather any data on anybody without a warrant. The Act’s Section 10, subsection 6 states: ‘In the course of information collection or counterintelligence, the Bureau can monitor, intercept, or record the conversations of people or organizations under suspicion or monitoring, made in public, or through any other audio visual or electronic medium.’
Article 8 of the Constitution states that information regarding a person’s residence, property, documents, statistics, correspondence, or character, cannot be violated unless otherwise required by law.
Our government should observe some democratic states like India, the US and UK that have made it easier for intelligence agencies to spy on their citizens, especially when it comes to terrorism. The widespread complaints of misuse of the power makes public feel insecure even in such developed countries so how can we feel secure about this new law in a country where internet speed is slower than post office.
The Freedom of Speech will just remain in speech if Bills like these are implemented. “What about the security and privacy of citizen?” “How can we trust the government on this?” are some of the questions that is in every Nepalese citizens’ mind after hearing about this new IT Bill.