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Cyber Ecosystem of Bangladesh


In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital age, cyberspace plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of nations. Bangladesh, a South Asian country with a rich cultural heritage and a population of over 160 million, is no exception to the transformative power of cyberspace. This write-up explores Bangladesh's journey in cyberspace, its impact on various aspects of society, economy, and governance, and the challenges and opportunities it presents for the nation's future.

  1. The Emergence of Cyberspace in Bangladesh

Cyberspace, often described as the virtual domain where digital information is created, shared, and accessed, took root in Bangladesh in the late 20th century. The first internet connection in the country was established in 1996, marking the beginning of a new era. Over the years, the adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) has grown exponentially, leading to the proliferation of cyberspace. Bangladesh has had the most secure cyber ecosystem since its independence in 1971. Now, it has the National CIRT (Computer Incident Response Team), responsible for providing security to the country's critical information infrastructures. Recently, the government of Bangladesh declared 29 Critical Information Infrastructures Organizations (CIIOs).

  1.          The Digital Revolution: The early 2000s witnessed a digital revolution in Bangladesh, with the government recognizing the importance of ICT for socio-economic development. Initiatives like the 'Digital Bangladesh' vision, introduced by the government in 2009, aimed to harness the potential of cyberspace to improve governance, access to information, and service delivery.
  2.          Internet Penetration: Internet penetration in Bangladesh has steadily increased. The country has witnessed a surge in mobile phone usage, with affordable data plans making internet access more accessible. This surge in connectivity has contributed to the growth of cyberspace.
  3. Cyberspace and Socio-cultural Impact

Cyberspace has permeated various facets of Bangladeshi society, bringing about profound socio-cultural changes.

  1.          Access to Information: The internet has democratized access to information, empowering citizens with knowledge. Online platforms have become popular sources for news, education, and research. People in remote areas can now access educational resources and stay informed about current events.
  2.          Youth Empowerment: Cyberspace has given the youth of Bangladesh a platform to express themselves, share their creativity, and engage in social and political discourse. Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube have become influential tools for young activists and artists.
  3.          Language and Identity: Bangladeshis have embraced the internet in their native language, Bengali. The proliferation of Bengali content on the web has strengthened the nation's cultural identity, making it accessible to the global Bengali diaspora.

III. Cyberspace and the Economy

The impact of cyberspace on the Bangladeshi economy has been profound. It has contributed to economic growth and the development of various sectors.

  1.          E-commerce: The rise of online marketplaces and digital payment systems has given birth to a thriving e-commerce sector in Bangladesh. Platforms like Daraz and Evaly have transformed how people shop, boosting entrepreneurship and employment.
  2.          Outsourcing and Freelancing: Bangladesh has emerged as a hub for outsourcing and freelancing services. Skilled workers in fields like software development, graphic design, and content writing have found opportunities to work for global clients, contributing to foreign exchange earnings.
  3.          Digital Financial Services: The advent of mobile banking and digital financial services like bKash and Nagad has expanded financial inclusion, making it easier for people, especially those in rural areas, to access banking services.
  4. Governance and Cyberspace

The Bangladeshi government has recognized the importance of cyberspace in improving governance and public service delivery.

  1.          E-Government Initiatives: The government has introduced various e-governance initiatives to enhance transparency and efficiency. Online platforms for citizen services, tax filing, and procurement have streamlined bureaucratic processes.
  2.          Cyber security: With the growth of cyberspace, cyber security has become a top priority. The government has taken steps to strengthen cyber security infrastructure and enact legislation to combat cybercrimes.
  3.          Digital Education: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital education in Bangladesh. Online learning platforms and digital textbooks have enabled students to continue their education despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
  4.          Enhancing Service Delivery: Bangladesh has embarked on a journey of digital transformation, aiming to improve public service delivery through various e-government initiatives. These initiatives have streamlined administrative processes, reduced bureaucratic hurdles, and made government services more accessible to citizens. For example, citizens can now pay taxes, apply for official documents, and access information online, saving time and reducing corruption.
  5.          Transparency and Accountability: Cyberspace has enabled greater transparency in governance by providing citizens with access to government data, policies, and decision-making processes. Online platforms have become tools for citizens to hold their government accountable, report corruption, and engage in public discourse.
  6.          Digital Inclusion: Bangladesh has made strides in digital inclusion, with initiatives to bridge the digital divide. Internet access is becoming more affordable and widespread, ensuring that a larger population can participate in e-governance activities. This inclusivity is crucial for ensuring that the benefits of cyberspace are accessible to all citizens.
  7.          Infrastructure Development: Expanding reliable and high-speed internet access, particularly in rural areas, is essential to make e-governance initiatives accessible. Infrastructure development remains a critical challenge.
  8.          Capacity Building: Building the capacity of government officials and IT professionals to manage and maintain digital systems effectively is crucial. Training programs and knowledge sharing can enhance the capabilities of those responsible for implementing e-governance projects.
  9.          Service Quality: While e-governance initiatives have made significant progress, there is room for improvement in service quality, user-friendliness, and accessibility. Ensuring that online services are efficient and user-centric is essential for their success.

Infrastructure Development: Expanding reliable and high-speed internet access,

  1. Challenges in Cyberspace

While Bangladesh has made significant strides in cyberspace, it faces several challenges that must be addressed for sustainable growth.

  1.          Digital Divide: Despite increased internet penetration, a digital divide persists, with rural areas having limited access to high-speed internet. Bridging this divide is crucial for inclusive development.
  2.          Cybersecurity Threats: With increased connectivity comes the risk of cyberattacks. Bangladesh must invest in cybersecurity infrastructure and raise awareness about online security to protect critical infrastructure and sensitive data.
  3.          Regulatory Framework: The country needs a robust regulatory framework that balances the need for online freedom of expression with the prevention of cybercrimes and misinformation.
  4.          Digital Literacy: To fully harness the benefits of cyberspace, digital literacy must be promoted across all segments of society. This includes education on safe internet usage and online etiquette.
  5.          Cybersecurity Collaboration: Building international partnerships and collaborating with other nations on cybersecurity can strengthen Bangladesh's defense against cyber threats. Sharing threat intelligence and best practices can enhance the nation's cybersecurity posture.
  6.   Digital Identity: Developing a robust digital identity system can streamline access to government services and enhance security. A secure and universally accepted digital ID can facilitate online transactions and reduce identity fraud.
  7. Opportunities for the Future

Bangladesh's journey in cyberspace presents numerous opportunities for its future growth and development.

  1.          Innovation and Startups: The vibrant startup ecosystem in Bangladesh is poised for further growth. Investment in innovation and technology-driven entrepreneurship can lead to groundbreaking solutions and job creation.
  2.          Global Connectivity: The country can strengthen its global connections through digital diplomacy and collaboration with other nations. Cyberspace provides a platform for international cooperation in various fields, including trade and education.
  3.          Smart Cities: The concept of smart cities, driven by technology and data, can be realized in Bangladesh to improve urban planning, infrastructure, and public services.
  4.          E-Governance Excellence: Bangladesh can continue to enhance e-governance services, making them more user-friendly and efficient. This will lead to greater citizen satisfaction and trust in government institutions.
  5.          E-Government Research and Evaluation: Continuous research and evaluation of e-governance initiatives can help identify areas for improvement and ensure that these projects meet the evolving needs of citizens.


VII. Regulatory Framework

Bangladesh's journey in cyberspace presents numerous opportunities for its future growth and development.

  1. Cybersecurity Legislation: Bangladesh has taken steps to address cybersecurity concerns by enacting legislation such as the Cyber Security Act. However, striking the right balance between cybersecurity and citizens' rights to free expression remains a challenge.
  2. Data Protection: The country has also introduced data protection regulations, recognizing the importance of safeguarding personal information in the digital age. Creating a comprehensive data protection framework that aligns with international standards is crucial for building trust in cyberspace.
  3. Digital Literacy: To navigate the digital landscape effectively, there is a need for improved digital literacy among citizens. Educating the public about online safety, privacy, and responsible


Cyberspace has become an integral part of Bangladesh's journey towards progress and development. It has transformed society, the economy, and governance in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. While challenges persist, they are opportunities for growth and innovation. As Bangladesh continues to embrace the digital age, its people and institutions must work together to harness the full potential of cyberspace for the benefit of all citizens. The nation's ongoing commitment to a Digital Bangladesh promises a brighter future, where the virtual world seamlessly integrates with the real, driving progress and prosperity for generations to come.


Senior Technical Specialist (Digital Security & Diplomacy),
Bangladesh Computer Council
Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology
PGP: 0x3B69D979
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