The Cabinet has given its approval to a new bill in a move to increase the security of online systems and combat the proliferation of false information and malicious behavior on the Internet. The proposal for this bill was presented by the Minister of Public Security, Tiran Alas.
The decision to approve the bill is rooted in the need to address contemporary challenges posed by the digital age. The bill, drafted by legal experts, has received clearance from the Attorney General.
The new Act seeks to address a range of offenses related to online activities, including but not limited to:
1. Communicating false statements about events in Sri Lanka.
2. Making defamatory false statements.
3. Gratuitous incitement to riot by false statement.
4. Disturbing a religious meeting by making a false statement.
5. Communicating a false statement with the express intention of hurting religious sentiments.
6. Communicating a statement that is clearly and maliciously false to offend religious feelings.
7. Fraud and cheating by impersonation.
8. Intentional libel by false statement with the intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
9. Circulating a false statement with the intent to incite rebellion or an offense against the government.
10. Communicating statements of incidents of harassment.
11. Child abuse.
12. Creating or modifying bots to commit crimes, among others.