Digital Media Concept and Laws

Let’s have a look about Digital Media concept and laws. As in today’s world e-Laws play a major role in ICT, as those should provide the necessary legal environment for using electronic data and documents for official as well as personal purposes and carrying out electronic transactions. Constitution in the cyber-world, including the right to free speech, free religion, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and so forth.

There are four main pieces of legislation that govern technology and internet usage in Sri Lanka. We can refer to them collectively as ICT Laws. They include the ICT Act (2003), the Electronic Transactions Act (2006) and Computer Crime Act (2007). Under the Evidence Special Provisions Act of 1995, computer evidence and audiovisual contemporaneous evidence can be admitted as evidence in cases. The judges are given enough discretion under the existing legal framework to allow for admission of electronic evidence in litigation.

The most relevant legislation for use of ICT in government and establishment of e-government services is the Electronic Transactions Act No. 19 of 2006. The drafting of Electronic Transactions legislation was enabled through a joint Cabinet Memorandum of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Minister of Science and Technology. Consequently, on 22nd September 2004 the Cabinet of Ministers decided that legislation on Electronic Transactions should be prepared through the Legal Draftsman’s Department in conjunction with ICTA. The legislation was prepared by the Legal Draftsman with legal and policy inputs from ICTA and presented to Parliament on 7th March 2006. The Electronic Transactions Act was brought into operation with effect from 1st October 2007.

The objectives of the Act as are as follows

  • to facilitate domestic and international electronic commerce by eliminating legal barriers and establishing legal certainty;
  • to encourage the use of reliable forms of electronic commerce;
  • to facilitate electronic filing of documents with government and to promote efficient delivery of government services by means of reliable forms of electronic communications and
  • to promote public confidence in the authenticity, integrity and reliability of data messages and electronic communications. This has ensured that electronic communication is officially and legally accepted as a proper means of communication
  • Although these laws exist, they are not properly implemented in Sri Lanka. But we hope it will be properly in future