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IFJ Asia-Pacific More Info Sun Jan 26, 2020
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The steps taken by the prime minister KP Oli government to enact laws that regulate individuals who use social media has drawn serious attention of Nepal Press Union. Various clauses of the part 14 of the draft of the bill approved by the Information, Technology and Communication Ministry and sent to the cabinet for approval have stated that anyone interested in operating a social network has to register with the relevant department as per the provisions of the law. The social networks that were operating prior to the law being implemented have to register with the department within a set period of time. Sub clause 1 of the clause 91 of the bill states that the social networks run by person not registered in Nepal can be banned by the government of Nepal. Clauses 92, 93 and 94 also have restrictive provisions.
The steps to control the social networks through law have borne out of the regressive mindset. Press Union believes that the steps that the government is contemplating to take to control the networks that have been a part of life of the public have been a result of not good intentions but authoritarian tendencies. The steps the government is taking is trying to restrict the freedom of expression ensured by the constitution. Through these steps are the government is trying to convey the its arrogance that it can muzzle public’s voices. By trying to restrict the use of the social networks, where highest degree of freedom of expression is being practised, the government is attacking democracy. The intent and character of the government have been evident through its various decisions including this.
It is the duty of the people who love democracy and freedom to voice their opinion against this act of the government. Nepal Press Union calls on all the stakeholders to fight with determination against this effort of the government.
Nepal Press Union