‘Harmful’ apps, games to be banned
Worried over their widespread abuse, law enforcers have moved to crack down on some online games and social media applications, including "TikTok".
Rapid Action Battalion Director General Abdullah Al Mamun yesterday said, "There has been a rise in criminal activity with the use of several digital apps, including TikTok... A high committee is reviewing how to shut down such apps."
A racket was recently found using TikTok as a means to traffic young women from Bangladesh to India.
Law enforcers came to know about the use of the application while investigating an incident of sexual abuse a girl had to endure by said traffickers in India's Bengaluru. A video footage of the incident went viral on social media through TikTok.
Three girls had managed to escape from the human trafficking racket and return to Bangladesh. They have informed police that many other Bangladeshi girls are currently suffering in India.
Law enforcers have already identified Rifatul Islam Ridoy, known as "Ridoy Babu" on TikTok, who allegedly trafficked over 50 girls to India using the social networking application.
The Rab DG said, "A list of those involved in crimes using social media is being prepared."
"In this tech-savvy society, we need to use technology in a positive, responsible way…," he said while addressing a debate competition as the chief guest.
Debate for Democracy organised the debate titled "Misuse of Social Media to Increase Juvenile Crime" at the National Film Development Corporation.
"Law enforcement agencies have the capacity to crack down on such crimes," he said.
Addressing the programme, Mohammad Shahidullah, deputy commissioner of Tejgaon Division Police, said no one will be allowed to commit crimes through social media.
"Those who misuse the mobile apps will not be spared. We will recommend closing down the apps [in Bangladesh]," he said.
On December 30 last year, a writ was filed with the High Court to shut down the applications named Bigo Live, TikTok, Likee for the safety and security of the young generation.
The writ petition asked why these apps should not be declared illegal and not be instructed to close operation.
The secretaries to the home ministry, and posts, telecommunications and information technology ministry, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), and the inspector general of police were made defendants.
Rezaul Masud, special superintendent (Cyber Intelligence and Risk Management) of the CID, told The Daily Star yesterday that they have a continuous monitoring process to check which applications are harmful for our society and are violating the law.
PHQ then sends a list of suspected social media applications to the home ministry. The list is then sent to the BTRC, requesting further action and the shutting down of the mentioned apps.
As TikTok has recently come to the fore as an app that is widely abused, police are now working to take action against such apps, he said, adding they have also sent a list to ban some games, including PUBG and FREEFIRE.