Arrangements are being made to present a new bill in order to control the alleged false information circulated on the Internet at the Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on April 19, sources said.
The new bill seeks to provide protection from false information and practices allegedly taken place on the Internet.
However, Justice Minister Ali Sabry has told Aruna newspaper that it has become a timely matter to introduce new laws to curtail damage caused by false information maliciously circulated on the Internet by various interested parties.
Aruna newspaper is published by Liberty Publication which is chaired by Dilith Jayaweera.
The paper says the new laws will cover areas such as the country’s national security, public health, public peace, public finance, state relations with other countries and alleged moves to weaken the public confidence in the state.
The bill is said to propose actions such as deactivating the fake accounts that circulate false information, remove websites that continuously spread false information and reducing the speed of the Internet when false news are circulated.
However, several rights activists said the new bill is aimed at controlling the social media.
Professional Web Journalists Association Freddi Gamage said his association was the first one that voiced against Sirisena’s government when it banned social media and “in the same spirit, we will express our protest against this new move which is clearly aimed at controlling the Internet based media.”
He said although the government claims that some people are using the Internet to sling mud at the government, “actually the certain people related to the government are using the Internet to throw mud at the opponents.”