Social Security Bill To Combat False Information And Insults on Social Media To Be Presented To Cabinet

The Ministry of Public Security is set to present a Social Security Bill to the Cabinet this week aimed at curbing the spread of false information and insults on social media.

President Ranil Wickramasinghe has directed the National Security Council to expedite the submission of the bill, which has been delayed for three years. The proposed bill was drafted by a special committee appointed by the Ministry of Justice, with input from experts from Singapore.

The bill was shepherded through the final stages of preparation by former Justice Minister Ali Sabri and, following his appointment, by Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa. The bill has already been reviewed by the Attorney General's Department, and the Attorney General's advice has been sought on its content.

If passed, the Social Security Act (Online Protection Act) would provide a legal framework to prosecute individuals who spread false or defamatory content on social media. The introduction of such legislation has been widely debated in Sri Lanka in recent years, with some arguing that it could lead to censorship and curtail freedom of expression.