Online safety

Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad after a Parliament sitting last week. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Opposition MP Professor Biman Prasad after a Parliament sitting last week. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

NATIONAL Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad says people need to approach the proposed Online Safety Bill cautiously and Government needs to consult widely before taking it to Parliament.

Speaking in Parliament last week, he said people needed to fully understand the implications of the proposed Bill and how it could be interpreted if brought before the court.

Prof Prasad said at least six months of dialogue, discussion, consultation and dissemination of the contents of the Bill was needed.

He made the statement in response to Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s call for the Bill to be discussed and hopefully passed in the May sitting of Parliament.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the proposed Bill was designed to ensure that people used the internet and online platforms sensibly and responsibly. He said in instances where people had acted irresponsibly, the proposed Bill would provide factors that the court could consider in determining whether harm was or could be caused or would be caused.

Prof Prasad said while he appreciated the objectives of the proposed Bill, it should not be rushed into the May Parliament sitting.