Journalists Termed Draft Cyber Crime Bill as Threat to Freedom of Speech

As Cyber Crime Bill 2015, if approved as a law, will pose some limitations of free of expression; hence the journalist community is strongly against it. They are calling it as an attempt to take legislative control of internet freedoms by the government. A workshop help in KPK on Wednesday by Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network (PCSN), Tribal NGOs Consortium (TNC), Blue Veins, AAS FoundationPeace Justice and youth Organisation (PJYO); highlighted the concerns of journalist community in Cyber Bill.

Journalists Termed Draft Cyber Crime Bill as Threat to Freedom of Speech

The workshop was attented by many renowned journalists of various media agencies and civil society members. Qamar Naseem Zar Ali represented civil society organisations.

The journalists said that:

“The Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance (PECO), 2007 was presented in 2007 under the Article 89(2) of the Constitution. Afterwards, the ordinance was re-defined in 2008, 2009 and 2014 as well and presently the new draft of Pakistan Electronic Cyber Crime Bill, 2015 was sent to National Assembly’s Standing Committee on IT and Telecom in May 2015.”

Whereas the representatives of civil society organizations said that:

“Now the, ministry of information technology has made amendments to the previously draft bill that talks more about internet control in which users will be fined for sharing any information that government deems inappropriate, vulgar or against glory of Islam.”

The purpose of arranging this workshop was to shed light on the issue as according to them by making this bill a legislative law will definitely violate basic rights which mainly includes privacy rights, freedom of expression and access to information.

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