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Bangladesh PKI Forum started activities in Bangladesh

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Bangladesh PKI Forum held a Meet the Press event with Iftar on 7 June 2017 to introduce the newly formed organization. The Bangladesh PKI Forum was unanimously elected to the Asia PKI Consortium as a Principal Member at a Special Session of APKIC at Fuzhou, China on 24 May 2017. Mr. Abul Mansur Mohammad Sharf Uddin, Controller Certifying Authority (CCA) Government of Bangladesh made a presentation on the Bangladesh PKI Infrastructure and A K M Shamsuddoha Chairman Bangladesh PKI Forum had made the submission for election.

A K M Shamsuddoha, Chairman, Bangladesh PKI Forum conducted the program and the speakers were Prof. Kaykobad, Dean Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, BUET, Prof. Suriya Parveen, Professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Dhaka, Mr. Abul Mansur Mohammad Sharf Uddin,  Controller Certifying Authority (CCA) Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, Mr. Abdullah al-Mamun Farooq, Deputy Controller, Mr. Asifuzzaman, Managing Director, Dataedge and Secretary Bangladesh PKI Forum. In addition specialist inputs were given by Barrister Nazmus Saliheen, Auditor Md. Mamunur Rahman of BDO, and Masudur Rahman of Dohatec CA. Samir Sharma, Special Advisor to Secretary General, ITU also spoke on the occasion.

There are 6 Certifying Authorities who are primary members of the Bangladesh PKI Forum. In addition the PKI Forum will comprise of academics, professionals, interest group who need to use PKI for purposes security. The task of adoption of technology and interoperability remains an important issue for the PKI Forum.

 It was stated that Bangladesh Government wanted to implement PKI  in e-Tendering; in processing custom clearance documents; filing joint stock company returns; in filing Income Tax returns and provide for Digital Certificates in the NID smart card. The Certifying Authorities came into operation in June 2012 but Government has not been able to introduce use of digital certificates in spite of readiness, domestic competence and willingness. Bangladesh was being embarrassed with cyber attacks and subject to cyber crime. The use of encryption was essential for protection of digital assets and growth of ecommerce. The achievements for Digital Bangladesh by use of available IT infrastructure was not coming about. The external scenario in cyber security is rapidly aggravating the situation.

In reply to the question from the Press the CCA that government was starting e-nothi and digital certificates would be used there. He said the success in citizen services was highest in South Korea but the awareness campaign went to the level of housewives.  This type of campaign would be necessary.

Prof. Suriya Parveen stated that it was clear that the required capacity for use of digital certificates was there but it was incomprehensible why this powerful infrastructure was not being used by the respective departments in spite of their desire to adopt this. It was painful to observe the lack of usage for such a long time. She referred to the entities like the NBR, RJCS and financial institutions who were not using available PKI infrastructure.

The leaders of the press questioned why inspite of coming into operation 5 years ago the digital certificates were not being used. They are aware that CAs had come into operation long time ago and they expressed their inability to understand why the agencies where the use could take place were not doing so. Were there any entrenched interests because of which this was held back.

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