BTRC overturns internet outage plan
MNA Science & Technology Desk: Bangladesh has reversed its plan to block the internet as part of an effort to stop SSC questions leaking on Facebook and other social media sites after a brief outage on Monday morning.
Telecom regulator BTRC sent instructions to mobile internet and ISP providers to suspend the limitation on the speed of the web.
Internet providers had tested a 25 kilobit per second limit on bandwidth from 10pm to 10:30pm on Sunday, effectively cutting off internet access for a half hour.
The BTRC had also instructed the internet speed be restricted for two and a half hours near the start of all SSC exams. It had also issued a list of the dates and times when the restrictions would be in place.
The government’s decision to restrict the internet speed after failing to stop question leaks led to significant criticism.
“The people who can make such a decision have absolutely no idea how the internet works,” Ganajagaran Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarker told bdnews24.com on Sunday night.
“The leaks aren’t the fault of the internet. The questions leak first and are then spread online. The leaks need to be stopped at the source.”
Sarker said he believes cutting off web access will not stop the leaks.
“Detective police have arrested some suspects in connection with the leaks, which is good. But we are not seeing any effort by the government to catch the perpetrators backing these detainees or the people doing the direct leaking.”
The government has blocked 300 mobile phone numbers that it claims were in use for leaking board exam questions, a special committee formed to probe the widespread claims of question leaks has said.
Most of the users are students of MBBS, engineering, and computer science. Some parents are also involved, said Technical and Madrasah Education Division Secretary Md Alamgir, who heads the committee.
“Fourteen users have been held and police raids are on to nab the rest,” the secretary said on Sunday.
“Everyone — a student or a guardian – will face penalty. They will be prosecuted under the public examinations act and the cybercrimes act. The students might get expelled from respective institutions.”