Right to internet is one of the fundamental human rights, and this right should be included in the constitution, said Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday.

He stressed on developing a strong mechanism to combat cyber crimes and blocking offensive contents on internet.

Free flow of authentic information can play a significant role in empowering people and strengthening democracy, he said.

The minister told a public dialogue titled Freedom of Expression and the Internet in South Asia: A way forward to ensure people’s right” at a hotel in the capital.

Voice for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (Bangladesh), Internet Democracy Project (India), Internet Security Nepal, Point of View (India) and Global Partners and Associates (UK) jointly organised the dialogue.

Referring to the recent Ramu violence, Information Commissioner MA Taher emphasised responsible use of the internet and social media as its misuse can push the society into a situation that created in Ramu.

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said openness, transparency, equal access, accountability, participation are the main pre-requisite to ensure internet governance.

Journalist Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul said the young generation can be isolated from the real social world through excessive use of internet and social media.

The youths are becoming confined to virtual world and becoming separated from real social life, he said.

Voice for Interactive Choice and Empowerment Executive Director Ahmed Swapan Mahmud moderated the dialogue, while telecom expert Abu Saeed Khan, a number of bloggers, among others, spoke on the occasion.

Originally published in The Daily Star.