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Government preps for internet curbs

Government preps for internet curbs

On Aug 23, the government passed the National Cyber Security Policy 2023 encompassing a provision that was not in the draft policy and had not been deliberated with stakeholders.

Clause 11.25 of the policy provides for the establishment of a National Internet Gateway. In particular, autocratic regimes implement such a measure to exercise comprehensive control over internet activities by channeling all incoming online traffic through government-controlled gateways.

The national gateway means there exists a possibility for the government to clandestinely monitor internet traffic, exercise control over online content and implement measures of surveillance, control and censorship. 

Given the escalating regulatory pressure to employ software such as TERAMOCS for accessing citizens’ personal information and data without a legal foundation, the establishment of a national gateway will enhance the government’s capacity to monitor and control digital communications and this will provide a legal basis for a controlled internet environment in Nepal. 

The author is Executive Director of Digital Rights Nepal