Quite simply, the law is too broadly written, and opens up much potential for abuse
While the government has assured the media that the new Digital Security Act would not be used to clamp down on the press, the fact remains that some sections of the act are cause for grave concern.
That is why the Editors’ Council was right to form a human chain to demand changes to certain sections of the DSA, which the council rightly feels could be used to choke press freedom, and unfairly punish journalists and media professionals.
It is sad that the Editors’ Council was brought to this point -- these protests were necessitated by the fact that the concerns of editors across the country have not been satisfactorily addressed, and the government has not given a solution to what editors rightly see as a problem.
While there is no doubt that there need to be laws in place to stop the wrong-doing using digital media, as we have seen how posts on social media platforms can be used to spread false information to harmful ends, we fear the DSA simply does not get to the heart of the matter, and solves the wrong problem.
Quite simply, the law is too broadly written, and opens up much potential for abuse.
Law enforcement officers, for example, should not have the right to block content or shut down computers without discussing with the editor of the media organization in question.
Furthermore, journalists should never be arrested without a warrant, and there should always be strict adherence to due process; also, there is no reason to deny bail to such arrests.
Mainstream media is not the enemy, and ignoring the legitimate concerns of journalists would only hurt the strength of our democracy, and erode our credibility as a nation.