By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): The Government will be expediting the implementation of Sri Lanka’s first Information and Cyber Security Strategy with a partnership-based approach to protect cyberspace from multinational cyber threats, Technology Ministry sources disclosed.
Defense Cyber Commands’ bill and a separate bill on cyber security laws outside the defense purview are to be presented in parliament to enact it soon with the aim of, combating terrorist groups and criminals using cyber space and electronic communication for anti-social activities.
.The Defense Cyber Commands Bill covers all sectors related to electronic communication to protect national security interests, a senior official of the ministry said.
He noted that this bill will also deal with the present armed forces and police cyber protection units and the second draft bill, will strengthen the institutional structure to handle with cyber protection with the setting up of the Data Protection Authority.
The bill was passed without a vote after a raft of amendments was made to the original version.
Sri Lanka will introduce new cyber security legislation in 2023 and also unveil a framework for a digital economy State Minister of Technology Kanaka Herath said.
According to the state minister, the proposed cybersecurity act, which has been on the cards for some years now and subjected to repeated delays, is aimed at protecting personal data and will also serve the wider national security interest.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as Minister of Technology, has introduced a new framework for digitalization with a view to turning Sri Lanka into a digital economy,
“The state minister also dismissed concerns that the proposed cybersecurity act could curb media freedom, not unlike the proposed broadcast regulatory commission.
In August 2022, Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers approved a proposal by President Ranil Wickrememsinghe to implement an ‘Information and Cyber Security policy’ in all state bodies listed under public authorities.
The policy, formulated by the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) in line with the Information and Cyber Security strategy 2019-2023, was given approval to be implemented in all public authorities listed in the Right to Information Act No 12 of 2016.
A cabinet statement said though there is a trend of state owned enterprises (SOEs) being digitalized, there is a threat to information and the security of data due to outdated technology and a shortage of qualified staff to supervise systems.
Other objectives include the “introduction of legal provisions required for protecting infrastructure facilities related to decisive and essential information within the country, prevention of risk activities that affect the cyber security as well as creating a formal cyber protected environment within the country.