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Sri Lanka mulling laws to regulate use of social media: report

The Sri Lankan government is looking at imposing new laws to regulate the use of social media, the Daily News reported Member of Parliament Lasantha Alagiyawanna as saying. The proposed laws, one among an 11-point plan that the government came up with in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombings on April 21, will be aimed at controlling the dissemination of information that can have a “harmful influence”. The MP said that the new laws wouldn’t mean a “complete ban” on social media in Sri Lanka. India has also drafted a similar amendment called Information Technology Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment), 2018 to the the Intermediary Liability Rules 2011, under which social media companies or “intermediaries” will be held liable for posts that spread misinformation or incite violence. The report comes at a time when Sri Lanka has drafted a Cyber Security Bill to protect vital information and essential services from cyber attacks. This raises the question: where would the proposed laws fit within the context of the new bill? Sri Lanka’s new Cyber Security Bill The bill gives the government the power to establish a Cyber Security Agency. It is meant to empower the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team and National Cyber Security Operations Centre to protect critical information infrastructure necessary for the continuous delivery of essential services. The Bill aims to: ensure the effective implementation of the National Cyber Security Strategy in Sri Lanka, prevent, mitigate and respond to cyber security threats and incidents efficiently, establish the Cyber Security Agency…

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