The Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has taken a decisive step towards the implementation of the government’s recent decision to ban the popular social media platform TikTok. In a meeting held on Friday, the NTA formed a 4-member technical committee, led by Director Bijay Kumar Rai, to oversee and ensure the effective prohibition of TikTok in the country.
The members of the committee include Sudhir Parajuli, President of the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPAN), a representative from the Ministry of Communications, and Rosakiran Basukala from the authority, serving as the member secretary.
Committee coordinator Bijay Kumar Rai outlined the committee’s responsibilities, stating, “We are investigating which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have banned TikTok, which ones are facing challenges or are unable to do so, and we will prepare a comprehensive report within 7 days.”
This move follows the government’s decision on November 13 to ban TikTok, citing concerns about its impact on social harmony and the broader social environment. The ban was swiftly implemented by the government, leading the NTA to engage with TikTok through written communication, informing them of the decision and seeking cooperation in its enforcement.
As part of the ongoing developments, 10 petitions challenging the government’s decision were filed in the Supreme Court on Friday. Legal practitioners and digital rights advocates argue that the ban infringes upon constitutional rights and have urged the court to revoke the decision. The Supreme Court administration has consolidated all the writ petitions and scheduled a preliminary hearing for the coming Monday.
The decision to ban TikTok was taken by the Council of Ministers, emphasizing the platform’s perceived negative impact on social harmony. The government took immediate action, closing government offices on the day of the decision’s announcement to ensure prompt enforcement. The technical committee’s formation signals a proactive approach by the NTA to oversee the ban’s implementation and address any challenges that may arise during the process.