Shekhar Koirala protests against phone-tapping law

Published On: March 22, 2023 02:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 22: The government has been criticized even by the ruling party leaders after bringing in a law that allows any person's phone to be tapped.

A leader of the ruling Nepali Congress (NC), Dr Shekhar Koirala said that tapping personal phones under any pretext is not acceptable.

He also said that the CPN (Maoist Center)-led government has created an atmosphere of doubt by re-introducing the draft of a law that was stopped in the past.

"Tapping personal phones under this or that pretext is not acceptable in a democracy," he said.

Koirala has requested that parties, human rights workers, civil society and the press should also pay attention to such actions related to national security.

The bill introduced by the previous government was stopped due to opposition. However, in the draft bill introduced by the current government, a provision has been proposed that 'any person’s conversation can be obtained from the service providers for the purpose of investigation, including the recording of conversations and other details related to the service'.

Just two years ago, the Information Technology Bill was shelved after intense criticism that it had endangered the right to freedom of expression. But now the government is going to bring a law to record the phone conversation of a person through the bill made to amend and unify the law related to telecommunication.

At present, there is a provision that the 'location' of a person should be tracked only after taking the order of the court. However, in the draft bill brought forward by the government, there is a provision that “the conversation of any person can be recorded, their identities revealed  and other details obtained from the service provider for investigation.”

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