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Government to enact National Cyber Security Act this year.

By: Staff Writer

March 01, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is to set up a Data Protection Authority (DPA) this year to protect personal data in its major move towards developing digital economy, while taking measures to implement Personal Data Protection Act, and National Cyber Security Act State Minister of Technology Kanaka Herath said.

The government enacted the Personal Data Protection Act recently thereby becoming the first South Asian country to introduce comprehensive data protection legislation providing provisions to establish this independent authority, he revealed.

This data regulator will operate independently and will collaborate with other institutions such as the Central Bank, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL).

DPA will be entrusted with the task of supervising and regulating public and private institutions data, through investigative and corrective powers under the data protection act.

It will provide expert advice on data protection issues and handle complaints lodged against violations of the General Data Protection Regulation and the relevant national laws.

Forty three public institutions maintain 124 critical national information technology systems that affect the country’s national security, public welfare, economy, and health, he disclosed.

The Government will also be expediting the implementation of Sri Lanka’s first Information and Cyber Security Strategy with a partnership-based approach to protect cyberspace from multinational cyber threats, Technology Ministry sources disclosed.

Defense Cyber Commands’ bill and a separate bill on cyber security laws outside the defense purview are to be presented in parliament to enact it soon with the aim of, combating terrorist groups and criminals using cyber space and electronic communication for anti-social activities.

The State Minister for Technology, Mr. Kanaka Herath, announced that the anticipated National Cyber Security Act will be introduced this year, followed by the establishment of the Cyber Security Authority.

Additionally, the State Minister underscored the preparations made for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka by the end of July.

The summit serves as a platform for fostering innovation, collaboration, and investment in digital technologies, thus propelling the country towards a more resilient and prosperous digital economy, he said.

Furthermore, a sum of Rs. 50 million derived from the profits of Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) was allocated to the treasury in the previous year. In line with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal, a new initiative has been launched to uplift small and medium-sized industrialists, who constitute 52% of the country’s economy.

This endeavour seeks to empower such enterprises technologically, offering them good manufacturing practice (GMP) and SLSI certifications.

Additionally, plans are underway to facilitate access to low-interest loans through the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the ultimate goal of guiding these small and medium-sized industrialists into the market.

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